One-day Crazy Child workshops


Note: this workshop is included if you’re in a 10-week workshop or in a novel workshop. Note also that the nonprofit WordSwell will accept teachers-in-training at a reduced fee.

We’ll establish an inviting atmosphere, one so comfortable even the shyest writers can flourish and feel proud of what they accomplish. As usual, I expect eight or ten people, much exciting writing, and fun to boot. Fee: $80 (no one will be turned away for lack of funds).

This workshop will help you get started on creative writing of any sort — poems, stories, personal essays, plays, novels. The history and underpinnings of what we do is spelled out in Let the Crazy Child Write! (New World Library, 1998) or, briefly, in “Preface” and “Chapter One” at the website

We recognize three voices in the writer’s psyche: “Editor,” “Writer,” and “Crazy Child” — or creative unconscious. The Editor is the “should ” voice, as in you should write everything perfectly the first time, you should make money with your writing, you should make no spelling errors. The Writer organizes your writing life, finds blank paper and pens that work, makes time to sit at the computer or go to a coffeehouse with your notebook. The Crazy Child is the urge to write, that itch in your psyche or body that wants to get out into the world. We’ll tell the Editor and Writer to take a walk and let your Crazy Child write whatever it wants.

Our Writers and Editors may be fine at their jobs, but they often get involved too early in our writing. By letting the Crazy Child write whatever it wants, we’ll produce energetic and enlightening rough drafts. These drafts will display our strengths, our passion and our most deeply held beliefs, and they are usually strongly stated. When we repeat your most vivid lines back to you, you’ll discover that you are doing at least one or two things very well. You’ll find your Crazy Child is smarter and far better organized than the Editor and Writer might think.

Any questions? Or you’d like to register, and need directions? Phone 510-508-5149, late afternoon is best, or email


2-Busy-2-Write Writers’ Group

Every other Tuesday.

These mini-Crazy Child Workshops meet at 7-9pm on a Tuesday night for those who are too busy to otherwise do the writing they love. Clive will introduce an exercise and then leave the writers in piece for a whole hour. The second hour is for sharing writers’ work.

The suggested donation is $20 per workshop. (If you bring healthy cookies to share, suggested donation is less.) RSVP to Clive at (510) 508-5149 or email

The Mind-Body Crazy Child One-Day Workshop

We are close to our creative source when the child within speaks its mind and ignores any critical or editorial voices.

In the spirit of the Crazy Child and the Rebel Saint, this workshop will combine Clive’s synergetic teaching style – opening ourselves and writing up to positive group reflection – with Tressa’s meditations that will guide us to a more spacious opening within.  These outer and inner techniques, when combined, are a doorway to creative impulses that are often blocked by the “noise” of everyday life.  Relaxing and quieting the mind, tapping into body sensations (feelings), we are more attuned to what the Crazy Child wants to express through writing.  To Be and Become Writing.

Cost is $85. Contact (415)668-0122.


Tressa Berman, Ph.D. is an anthropologist, author and dharma practitioner.  She has worked with cultural creatives around the world – from the red desert of Australia to the Midnight Sun of northern Norway.  A former student of Zen Master Sasaki Roshi, she was ordained as a lay monk at the San Francisco Zen Center, and is currently in Vipassana training at Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society.


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