University of Iowa

Extraordinary Seeing: A Workshop for All Genres

Weekend July 14 to July 15 2018

The notion that some special insight or wisdom is required in order to start writing has short-circuited many a writer. Why even try? an internal voice whispers, You’ve got nothing profound to say. But insight is not what goes into a piece of writing—rather, it’s what comes out of it.


What goes into a piece of writing is work. Just as, when ascending a mountain, we first need to do some climbing (work) before it is possible to stop and take in the view (insight), writing needs to be worked before it can yield insight. The insight or “view” that results, which is nothing we could have begun with, has been called extraordinary seeing.


In this open-genre workshop we’ll have examples and discussion to fully understand this key facet of writing craft; but more than anything we will practice and train in how to lay the ground for extraordinary seeing.