Gateless Writing is a method of teaching the art and craft of writing using creative brain science, ancient Zen practice, and highly-effective craft tools.
At Gateless, we believe that the most potent, domain-changing writing comes from moving beyond the conditioned mind and into a place of limitless creative potential within.
We offer craft tools without criticism. We build the work up rather than tearing it down and believe every writer, when given the right resources, can hit a singular genius passed down from infinite source.
Through retreats, a teacher training program, our online Writers' Academy and one-on-one intensives, the Gateless methodology has shifted thousands of writers’ lives, helped them build successful writing careers, and allowed writers to access the incredible landscape of potent talent inside.
How Gateless Writing Began:
In high school, I had Mrs. Garber for English, a bite-sized woman who used to be a nun, talked like a jackhammer, and called the dictionary at the back of the room The Big Dick. Mrs. Garber taught us sentence structure, universal truths, and how to support abstract thought, and then, using these tools, she taught us to write: without censor, without stopping to perfect, control, or manage the work. My truest, best self came out during Mrs. Garber’s class. When I wrote I was flying. Gateless writing began there.
As an adult, I was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study Buddhism and meditation, and I began to write. I wrote in the model Mrs. Garber showed us, using the craft tools I understood from studying great literature. My first two novels sold to Scribner to high acclaim, were optioned for film, and translated widely abroad. Because I wanted to do everything I could for the craft, I enrolled in graduate school. From the first workshop, I understood our model for teaching writing was broken. The work is criticized, deconstructed, it is talked about as if it were broken and needed to be "fixed." The odds of creating great writing using this methodology were slim. A few got their work published. Many gave up. For my senior thesis I studied the creative process of great literary masters and found those few, who made lasting work, tended to write from a space of ultimate freedom, the same place I had learned about as a Fulbright scholar studying meditation and Buddhism, the same place Mrs. Garber had encouraged us to go.
The Brain Science Behind Gateless Writing:
After receiving the MFA, I began extensive research in creative brain science, particularly a scientific model of neuro-theology developed by Dr. Herzog at Harvard Medical School and Dr. Aquili and Dr. Newberg at Penn. These researchers found that imagination and creativity are best accessed when we cease activity in the part of the brain associated with negativity and resistance. Researchers Charles Limb and Allen Braun at the National Institute of Health found that masterpieces are created when the area of the brain active during self-censoring is deactivated, inhibitions are shut down, and the region linked with self-expression is active. Combining this brain science with potent craft tools, eastern philosophy, and industry know-how, I founded Gateless Writing, a model of teaching writing that breaks through creative blocks and provides writers the resources to reach their artistic visions.
The Success of Gateless Writing:
Gateless Writing has created unprecedented success. Our writers have gotten top agents, gone to auction, gotten six-figure deals and received national media attention. (See testimonials here.) In the process, Gateless Writing tends to influence every part of a writer's life. Writers begin to see how big their power in the world really is. The model creates a certain magic, where we bust out of limitations (they aren’t really there), and reach beyond the original vision to create expansive, magnanimous lives that match what we have to offer.
How Gateless Writing Works:
In Gateless writing you are shown where the power and energy of the work lives. We silence the part of your brain associated with criticism and focus on your strengths. While you are working from your natural talent, you are also given the skills to make the work stronger; you learn potent craft tools to bring your writing to places you might only have imagined. You are an apprentice, becoming a master in the written word. From there, we don’t just create great writing, we create an enterprise from your book, building platforms, getting you publicity, moving you into a writing career that monetizes. Gateless does not believe in the starving artist, and we find avenues to make your work stand out in the world.
Not only has this process created outward success, the journey is a blast. It allows you to access a feeling of bliss and flow, well-being and lightness that has often been lost since early years of childhood. For more on how to explore the Gateless model, check out our Retreats, feel free to hit me up for a one-on-one session, or become part of our team of teachers by getting certified in the Gateless method in our Gateless Teacher Training Program.