here come the newbies


hey this is allison. although, we still have two more episodes left to air from the first semester, a new semester of writing class will begin next week. we will bring you their stories after episode 10. 

we have a few new students enrolled this semester. i used to hate the new semester because i felt like i’d have to hold back until i trusted the newbies with my dear and personal stories. i also hated waiting for them to warm up.  andrea teased me in the pilot episode that i wrote stories about my dog, molly, the entire first semester i took with her, when she could tell there was something bigger i needed to be writing about. she was right. in the last class, i wrote the story of my daughter’s death and shared it with the class. everyone cried, but they didn’t feel sorry for me. nothing changed. I was still me. but a less burdened me. it felt liberating.

over the years, i have discovered that some of the students are like me. they need weeks to warm up. but many of the new students are nothing like me. wendi came to class, and on her first night, she told the story of her ex husband’s murder. I thought, “I like this newbie.”

today, we received the following email from a newbie. her email was in response to my question, “are you prepared to be vulnerable, write without shame, and air without guilt?”

         Vulnerability, shame and guilt are a big, big deal to me. I know this because since I started listening to the podcast, I've been having nightmares where scenarios of vulnerability leave me a complete horrific mess. That's why I think it's so important for me to dive into this process. I think I will be a better writer for it but also a better person for it. 

            This journey that I'm on with my writing, it's personal and emotional and I'm protecting it like if it was my kid. It has to be private with respect to sharing it with the people in my life. My husband is incredibly supportive and so is my family. But putting myself out there on my personal social media pages is an invitation for judgment, shame and ridicule that would crush me. Remember in Cinderella when the stepmother and stepsisters rip Cinderella's dress off her and she goes from bliss to despair in a matter of seconds? I'd be setting myself up for that if I opened my mouth about what I'm doing. I'm protecting myself from them because I want to stick with this. 

            All that said and done, I may feel different when I come out of the other end of these next 10 weeks. You might rock my world so hard that I might have no regard for the vultures in my life and promote the shit out of this experience and I may not. I honestly can't make any promises and I feel like you should know that going in.

i thought, “i like this newbie.”


allison langer

Allison Langer, MBA, travelled the States taking pictures, later worked for a ski photographer, then took pictures of her friends and their babies. This was the start of a 20-year photography business. She also taught high school photography and entrepreneurship. As her students wrote their business plans, she wrote hers to create a podcast about her writing class, which is now Writing Class Radio.