Write better stories

Strangers give you compliments. Your friends finally get what you’re saying. You can captivate an audience who didn’t know you before. Your piece evokes a smile in the person you’ve secretly been in love with.

A great story is creative, relates to the reader, builds a world that is believable and as enticing as a bouncy castle — you can’t help but jump into it. A great story is a pleasure to read.

There are bad stories everywhere. You’re reading bad prose in books, as subtitles in vlogs, in blog posts and when you’re writing with your friends. Bad is when you can’t follow because you’re falling into the holes of the story. Even worse, when there’s no hook to return to the story path…

Bad › Better › Great

At freewritecamp.org, you get the education, tools and the community to turn texts you’re not proud of into pieces that people will steal out of your hand.

Introduction

Hi, I’m Alex, I’m the initiator of the camp. But besides that I’m just a salesman driven by what I didn’t succeed in before.

Childhood

When I was in German elementary school, I so desperately wanted to be in the 1990’s „Mini Playback Show“ on television moderated by Dutch Marijke Amado, but I couldn’t express it. And to be honest, I only had a bathroom singing voice, if you know what I mean.

At the age of 12, right before secondary school, I wanted to join a soccer club, after having spent 5 years playing soccer in my leisure time. But I couldn’t express it and listened to my parents who recommended to focus 100 % on being a smart student. Again, I was neither courageous nor strong enough to articulate my will with conviction.

Young adult

Having graduated from high school („Abitur“) with bad marks, I was eager to do better in the following training as a salesman, which I did. I finished with very good grades, one year early and received special appreciation from the big boss. I compensated for my bad Abitur.

But it’s important to note that my prior 9-months pit stop in a psychiatry led the way to my training. Without this toughening experience I would have been much more naive. And I don’t want omit that the path of a salesman was not my primary choice. Originally, I wanted to become a media designer which I failed to make. Why? Not because I couldn’t express it. I didn’t have the skills and couldn’t convince the recruiter of my willingness to learn this craft. I didn’t give up my creative path.

University

After 13 years in school, 2 years in training and 9 months working in a psychiatry, I applied for a media and computing program at a local university. I was lucky twice because I made it through the waiting list (remember my bad degrees) and the studies would serve as my alternative media design training. Actually, it was more about programming than designing which left me thinking whether I’m doing the right thing. After the first semester, I was sure to give up. I wasn’t so much into programming. At high school, I had even canceled my programming course as I found it too hard for me to succeed in it. But I kept on going, adapted to the situation and made them my studies.

By then at the latest, perseverance would become my ally. I endured just like I did when I had failed three times before I got my driver’s license.

Childhood — again or still?

Seven years later, I have a Master’s degree in Int’l Media & Computing. Enjoying some aspects of programming, HTML5 and open web standards, I’ve developed a special excitement for the web as the ideal place for people to share and care.

All that time I was motivated by the things I failed at when I was a child (singing and soccer) and when I was a young adult (media design). But my failures made me succeed with my Bachelor’s thesis that was released as a book and allowed me to release a medium-length film Single* (2013) as part of my Master’s thesis. You can watch it online on YouTube and Vimeo.

Both, writing a book and making a film, were dreams I was able to make come true. Although they did not fully fill the gaps in my childhood dreams they filled a very large part of it.

Today and fifty years to fill the gap

My job for the rest of my life is now to fill the part that’s left. That’s about 50 and more years time.

I’m 35 now, and this was a story of a man (and still an inner child) who had a goal, took several detours, and didn’t achieve it (yet). What’s the goal? Building a place called PARADISE based on a book and the effort made here at the camp.

During all those years, the turtle had become my symbol for being patient and calm in stressful times and endure when it gets tough. Whenever I feel that what my current life makes me feel like a turtle on land, I start exploring and dive again to feel like a turtle underwater. Because of that I founded freewritecamp.org, started acting as a voice artist and have found a place called naii.io which is my company and central hub in the web.

Life goes on, and so does the struggle of finding my place on this wonderful place called Earth.

Thank you, life!

Now

It’s December 5, 2018, and in the current version of myself I’m enjoying my work, making it an adventure, honing my discipline, and I’m focussing on close to zero distraction while also not being too isolated from the social world. Keeping my willingness to work and staying in touch with people is and has been my biggest challenge. You can read my latest now status on my /now page.

Tell your story (in no more than 750 words, that’s three pages)

You just read my story and got to know me a litte. Now it’s time to write yours.

It’s easy. Write the story that defines your life best, as an autobiography. Be as true as you can, and as glorifying as you wish. Make it a great story to read, and keep in mind that this is your introduction to the freewritecamp.org community. So, don’t be a dick ;)

Send me your story as an email, and find a good email subject after the colon (:) that serves as the title of your story. I will review your story and send you an email with a „Yes“ or „No“. So, make sure to use an email address that you’re actually checking regularly.

P.S. Students of the Story Creation Masterclass don’t have to apply with their autobiography, they’re automatically part of the camp family. If you’re interested to become a masterclass student, join the next masterclass.

freewritecamp.org - Identity & story discovery through writing


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