The One About the Writing Class

Photo by Elizabeth Soutter Schwarzer

My video chat with Elizabeth Soutter Schwarzer‘s writing scholars at Harvard on Wednesday night went very well … right up until Skype blitzed out.

But no worries.

She just invited me back this evening so I could continue the conversation about writing and blogging, sharing my experiences relating to creating an online presence, how to write to be found using SEO, and how this simple family blog has paved the way for a lot of things for our family.

That’s Elizabeth in the middle, amused, during the BlogHer ’11 conference.


I first met Elizabeth when we co-hosted a writing class at the BlogHer ’11 conference in San Diego.

I was super pregnant (Jaz was born two weeks later), a newcomer to that particular blogging community, and trying not to breathe too loud in the microphone.

She was witty, radiant, and a published author/popular mom blogger and former NASA intern/Congressional press secretary who also taught writing classes at Harvard.

NASA and Harvard, you guys.

I was waiting for the blogging authorities to come in and point out that I had no business sitting next to her, but that didn’t happen, and we clicked immediately.

We stayed in touch, and last year, she asked if I could speak to her class about my blogging experiences. That experience went very well, her students were great, and I was asked to do it again this week.

So, I did.

Because I was doing this remotely from the corner of my living room, Martin helped me set up a “safe zone” in front of our bookshelves so I would look smart. Then, just before I went live, he rounded up all the kids and barricaded himself with them in our basement to watch a movie.

Our aim was to create a webcam frame that projected a quiet, sterile, professional environment here in our home.

Meanwhile, during the class, Elizabeth sent me photos of how I looked from her classroom, to include a photo of my cats waltzing in and out of the living room behind me.

At least it wasn’t a streaking child, am I right?

All in all, I think it went well.¬†Ashley sat next to me during this evening’s class, just to listen and see what it was like, and gave me a thumbs up at the end, assuring me that it went well.

I’m always my worst critic, though, and I always think of a dozen things AFTER that probably would have been more beneficial to them. But hopefully, I was able to offer some helpful information to her students, and shed some light on life as a blogger/writer, and give hope that if they are really serious and committed to writing, the opportunities *will* come to them.

I’m proof of that.


And remember: you don’t have to be a student to get my blogging advice. You can always check in HERE every Wednesday to learn something.