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A Group for Non-Native English Writers

The RGA

It’s called RGA (/ɑːrdʒiːei/).

Who’s It For?

The RGA might be for you. But it might not.

The RGA is not about your level of English, nor is it about how well you can write. You may or may not want to publish a book. You might like fiction or non-fiction. You might write to sell a product or tell a joke. It doesn’t matter. What matters is your attitude. It’s what you believe.

Those who join the RGA are non-native English creatives who believe they can become great writers.

They know this takes time and dedication. They understand this is a process that requires the consistent practice of writing for an audience, not just for themselves. One of their favourite things in the world is transforming the invisible content of their hearts and minds into words that connect with other people’s hearts and minds. They write to connect. Because connection brings new connections: a new friend, a new fan, a new client.

A new identity.

They write in English, their second language. This can be challenging and uncomfortable. And that’s why they do it. They understand that pursuing the uncomfortable isn’t natural, but it’s essential to become great at something.

Is the RGA for you?

Only you can tell.

What’s It For?

The RGA is to help you become the best writer you can possibly be.

It’s to support you in the process of writing. It’s to help you improve your storytelling, your grammar, and your style. It’s to help you overcome perfectionism and self-doubt. The RGA encourages you to put your writing in front of the eyes of an audience no matter how imperfect you think it is.

Imperfection is the way forward, not an excuse to hide your art.

So in the RGA, you’re pushed to make and ship generous art even if you don’t feel ready for it. The continuous practice of making and showing art is what all artists have in common.

And you’re an artist.

The RGA is here to help you believe and remind you of that.

How Does It Work?

The RGA is not a video course. It is not a series of coaching sessions. It is not a school where your writing is assessed and graded.

The RGA is a virtual space where everyone is both a learner and a teacher. We all have our own unique potential, skills, experience, and knowledge, so we tap into that uniqueness to help each other improve as writers.

Here’s how you’ll do it:

  • You’ll use three tools: Slack to interact with other writers offline, Zoom for live meetings, and Google Documents for writing and feedback.
  • You’ll get a new writing prompt each week, which you’re free to ignore if you wish to write about a different topic. You can also suggest writing prompts.
  • You’ll write on your own Google Document and share your piece to get generous feedback from me and other writers.
  • You’re a writer, so you’ll give gentle, honest, and constructive feedback to others, too. Don’t worry, you’ll get templates and guidelines that will help you do that.
  • You’ll publish your writing on a Medium publication for non-native English writers. I will open one for you. But you don’t have to publish your story there. You’re free to post it wherever you want. Either way, you’ll share the link to your published article.
  • You’ll get involved in discussions about grammar, books, writing tools, mindset, commas, semicolons, techniques, and everything that revolves around the art of writing in English.
  • You’ll meet me and other writers on Zoom for Q&A and discussions— 45 minutes, once a week. You’ll get the recording if you can’t make it.

We’ll do all this with respect, generosity, and artistic integrity.

19 Ways to Become a Great Writer

In one of my blog posts, titled “How to Become a Great Writer (in 85 Words),” I said this:

What you need to do:

1. Write

2. Read

3. Publish

4. Give feedback

5. Get feedback

6. Produce lots of bad writing

7. Trust your writing

8. Like writing

9. Study the greats

10. Know who you’re writing for

11. Know what you’re writing for

12. Have the courage to be disliked

13. Kill perfectionism

14. Use language appropriately

15. Have something interesting to say

16. Experiment

17. Tell stories that resonate

18. Be kind to the reader

And believe you can be one.

In the RGA, you’ll get support with each of these, especially with the last one on the list.

RGA

R = Release. We stop holding our creations. We let go of them so they can move and impact our readers. Releasing may be scary, but it’ll feel great.

G = Generous. Because we don’t do it for ourselves; we do it to make a change in others. This may bring money, connections, friends, or clients. Being rewarded is just a natural consequence of true generosity, not the primary reason to make art. There’s a lot of fake generosity out there. “I’ll give you this free thing but you’ll give me that.” But true generosity expects nothing in return. True generosity is scarce. True generosity feels great.

A = Art. Writing is an art. And you, despite what they made you believe, are a natural and talented creative maker of things.

***

Do you have any questions about the RGA? Please feel free to ask me. You can email me directly or write your questions at the bottom of this Google document (a few people have already done that). You can also add comments using the comment function of Google Documents if you prefer. 

I need your contributions as they will help me understand if there’s something I need to clarify.

Thank you!

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