Today I am heading into week two of teaching my second Stunt Writing for Personal Growth class on the Canvas Network. The first time I taught it was so magical, I was worried that this time it would not gel. I’m amazed that immediately students took to the concept, started leading the way, and just took the challenge. There were numerous times the first week when I would read a student’s work and think, oh my gosh this is so amazing! They have broke through! They are accessing these deep and beautiful memories and laying them out like bittersweet gems. Teaching the Stunt Writing class, is for me ultimately spiritual. I love that I do not have to critique, correct or red pen anyone. Instead I get to guide, cheerlead, support and allow. Most of what I do is give permission for people to write what they need to write, I get to provide the scaffolding so they can climb safely.
The first class was about 640 people and the second is over 1,000. As I refine and communicate the concepts of the class, I finally created a more in-depth “definition” of the process. I was afraid that students may be goaded into doing something unhealthy in the name of doing a “stunt” or “making themselves uncomfortable.” Here is my newest definition:
The shortest definition I can give for the purpose of Stunt Writing is: “We are looking to improve and hone our view of ourselves and the outside world through kindness and strength.”
Stunt Writing IS: A well-thought out plan, it has discernible shape and three clear stunts. Uses the golden rule “Do unto others and you would like them to do unto you.” You take into account the feelings and perspective of those around you. You are fully present while doing the stunt emotionally and mentally. Breaking through excuses. Making time for your best self. Expressing gratitude. Freeing yourself from negative belief systems. Testing ideas that you think no longer serve you. Faking it till you make it, ie acting the part of what you want to be. Giving back. Getting in touch with your community/ heart/ loved ones. Connecting. Moving towards light and love.
Stunt Writing IS NOT: Jackass behavior, trickery, or pranking. Anything dangerous whether physically or emotionally. Using the stunt as a reason to do something you know you should not do. Overly focused on pain, dark things, morbid encounters that are not rooted in real life experience or spiritual/philosophical enquiry. Taking advantage of or engaging in tourism of disadvantaged populations without giving back. Doing what your mother/brother/husband/wife want you to do. Doing something that is just ok, or you hate, or that makes you unhappy.
I have a new Facebook group for Stunt Writers you can join here: STUNT WRITING FOR PERSONAL GROWTH FACEBOOK GROUP