So you read a book when it first comes out. Maybe you even mark up the pages because this you want to remember.
And then you finish up the book and the holidays come around and you put up a tree and count down the days and the book you read in October sits right over there on the shelf or the bedside table.
You are living art, you are. But sometimes, you forget.
Sometimes, you pick the book back up to thumb through, pausing at the highlighted parts. You remember something about being a poem, something about being an image bearer with a job to do, but today you feel more like a job-doer with an image to maintain and you really just want to remember who you are.
You want to remember that listening to your desire and questions and deep-set longing is a sacred practice.
You want to remember the truth about art – it isn’t only painting, singing, and dancing, but may also be loving, believing, and relating.
You want to practice your brave yes and your strong no but the dog got out of the gate last night and ran around the neighborhood like a naked toddler so you just don’t have the energy to be brave about things. You have a dog to kill. I mean train.
Maybe you think to yourself, I really wish that author had included a study guide or a discussion guide or some questions at the end of the chapter. Some way to go back through and remember what I learned. Who writes a book these days without some kind of guidance for her readers?!
This girl. This girl right here.
She hates writing study guides. They are the bane of her existence in this lovely world.
I decided early on in the writing of this book that I wasn’t going to write a study guide to accompany the book, partly because I don’t like writing study guides and partly because I don’t use study guides.
As it turns out, a lot of people enjoy having a guide to go along with a book. Who knew?
If that applies to you, I have good news and an invitation (you thought I was going to say “and bad news,” didn’t you? Never!)
No, I did not write a study guide, leader guide, or discussion guide for this book. (Wait, is that the bad news?)
However, I do have something to offer you that will hopefully be even better.
It’s a four-week art course designed for a small gathering of people to work through together. (!!)
The Good News
Now you have a way to talk about this book with other people. And my favorite part? I didn’t write it! My dad was inspired by Seth Godin’s Krypton Community College model and decided to create one using A Million Little Ways. For us! In my opinion, this is a bonus for you. What he draws out is different than what I would in some ways, but I like his approach for this four-week course.
I think you will, too.
Here’s the scoop:
- There are two versions of the Art Course: one for participants, one for the organizer.
- An organizer gathers a group.
- Everyone in the group spends an hour or so preparing on their own during the week (the course tells you exactly what to do)
- Once a week for four weeks, you gather in person for about 90 minutes to discuss and engage what you’ve learned.
The purpose is not to provide a chapter-by-chapter synopsis of the book.
Instead, it’s a practical resource to get you to think through how the concepts in the book apply to your life personally. And not just think about it, but practice, push, and grow.
That’s the good news.
Here’s the invitation: Every group needs an organizer. I’m inviting you to be that organizer. I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me to practice, push, and grow on my own. That’s why this is a course designed for 4 – 12 people to go through together.
Have you read A Million Little Ways but wish you had someone to talk about it with? What if you gathered a few friends together and did just that? You and your spouse could partner up with another couple. You and your roommate could pair up with a few friends. Your current small group could set aside four weeks and use this as your material. It would be a great way to get to know each other better.
I want to make this easy, but not so easy that you forget to do it. (I have a knack for making easy things difficult.)
This Art Course is completely free.
It’s easy to download something for free, add it to the download files on your computer, and forget it’s there until this summer. I know because I’ve done it.
What’s not so easy is to have to raise your hand and pick yourself to be the organizer, to say Yes, I want to do this with a group. And yes, I’ll be the one to take the first step.
Before you count yourself out, know that the organizer is not the teacher or even necessarily the leader. As the organizer, you are simply responsible to gather a group together and be a point person during your weekly meetings. The course tells you what to do - questions to ask, suggestions for your gathering, and ensuring you wrap it up on time.
So pick yourself and organize a group. When you do, you’ll receive further instruction. (I’ve always wanted to say that).
How to Get the Art Course
If you’re ready to sign up as an organizer for an art group in your own community, here’s what you can do next:
1. Send an email with ‘Art Course’ in the subject to A Million Little Ways at gmail dot com.
2. You will receive a link where you can download the Organizer Version of the Art Course for free as well as access to the private Facebook group for organizers only.
3. Since this is new for everyone, I’m suggesting that groups start the first week of February and continue for four weeks through the month. That way there are a bunch of people going through the course at roughly the same time. Updated to add: If February won’t work for you, go ahead and download the course and do it as soon as you and your group are able.
If you’re doing it in February, you have 3 weeks to assemble your group.
And if you get a chance, thank my awesome dad for taking the time to gather and prepare the material for the course.
The release of this Art Course is part two in a casual series I’m doing here on the blog in January: We will make art. Last week we focused on embracing the little way and I released Seven Little Ways to Live Art to subscribers. You can get your free copy today by subscribing on this page.