How many stories are in your head or in an abandoned file in your computer?
Do you know you could write; it’s just that you don’t?
How many evenings do you drink that glass of wine and promise yourself tomorrow will be different?
Do you have The Artist's Way, The War of Art, and The Creative Habit and still don’t do the writing? Only the dreaming?
Professionals, especially lawyers, can be the creative’s best friend. But many of us are also creative ourselves.
You’ve read The War of Art, The Artist’s Way, or Creating a Life Worth Living; Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic is your guide and still the mornings without writing pass, leaving you feeling bad about the day.
Each year, “write more” or “finish the book” is on your resolution list. And still, you never meet your goal.
Each year, you feel less like a writer and more like a poser. You aren’t.
This is where I come in. We take all your knowledge and work together to develop your craft and your process. We work together on accountability until you can be accountable to yourself with confidence.
Your work improves. I give feedback on your work—not to make you into me or anyone else, but to hone your voice, to hone your craft, and to set you on the path to your creative writing life, however you define it.
After we meet to discuss your writing goal:
Let me help you with your writing process. Most errors in writing actually occur because people do not have a firm handle on the writing process—from brainstorming, to outlining, to drafting, to revising to maximize reader engagement. Let me help you dig deeper. Let me help you communicate your words, your vision.
Schedule an appointment and we can set up an individualized system for making you a stronger writer.
Alexandra D’Italia’s fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Meat for Tea, Red Rock Review, Arcadia, South Loop Review, among others. Love Creek Productions staged her short play, The Fix Up, in New York, New York in 2012. She is an Associate Artist with Dorland Mountain Arts Colony and a member of the Los Angeles Women Playwrights’ Initiative. She has her masters in creative writing from University of Southern California.
For the past fifteen years, Alexandra D’Italia has worked as a writing professor at a law school. She is a teacher who believes motivating students through the challenges of writing will result in a more confident writer. She believes process and internal accountability are most important to evolving into a successful writer—and are the hardest challenges to grasp. According to Ms. D’Italia, “A teacher who is authentic about the difficulty of these challenges will be even more effective. We spend time challenging our own assumptions, pushing ourselves to tell an even better story. I say “we,” because with all students, I learn something new as well. If I am not willing to share, willing to be challenged, why should one of my students?”
Every writer’s journey is, of course, unique. That’s what makes it scary. Yet courage can be found in the commonalities among us. Find your fearlessness.
Mule Creek Prison is a maximum security prison in Ione, California. Driving there is tranquil, blue highways roadtrip—windmill farms, burnt yellow hills, and old frontier towns selling tschotkes to tourists. As you draw closer, if your eyesight is not very good, you see a tower, and mistake it for a college campus.
Then you see the guns.
I was a new attorney, there to see Geronimo Pratt, an ex-Black Panther convicted of a crime he did not commit. This was to many, including me, a dream opportunity: working on a case to free the wrongfully convicted, working with legal issues that allowed me reach out and touch the words written by our founding fathers.
But the details numbed me into a stupor. I didn’t want to read pages of testimony and then conduct hours of research to craft a legal argument. I wanted to hear about Mr. Pratt’s youth in the south. I wanted to hear about the early days of the civil rights movement and the palpable sense of revolution that caused so many people to act against the government. I wanted to hear his story of the Panthers’ descent into drugs and criminality. I wanted the experience of prison visits and to observe, well, everything. More so, I wanted to write about it.
I began the long process of leaving practice. I wrote freelance—finding legal writing gigs and journalism gigs where I could. The social activist in me still strong, I continued to represent indigent defendants on appeal in my own practice. After all, there were parts of law I loved: helping people, writing, thinking and reasoning.
I took creative writing classes. I realized that while stories might come freely to me, writing was difficult. I had a lot to learn. More workhorse than prodigy, I changed my life so I could write in the mornings. I loved (and still do) the rewrite, of matching writers’ intent with reader experience, that struggle of language until the story drives itself. This meant less money and a different kind of life than the one my parents envisioned but I brazened forth and redefined my worldview.
I published a short story, then two, and received rejections for more. I treasured those rejections with handwritten praise. I threw myself into the San Francisco writers’ community, even starting a literary journal.
Progress was slow. Writing is difficult for an extrovert who has an ingrained sense of social activism. The inner critic didn’t only mock my writing, she mocked my entire life: “You aren’t helping the world, you are engaging in self-indulgence.”
So I tinkered with my life again. I began teaching an advanced legal writing class at Golden Gate University School of Law, my alma mater. My life transformed quickly—one class turned into many. I modeled my seminars after creative writing workshops rather than the competitive no-sharing policy that permeates so many law school classrooms. Student writing improved, and more importantly, students became confident in their writing and rewriting process, seeking out new opportunities to strengthen their writing muscle. They became fearless. I found myself more a coach than a teacher.
My life coalesced—a challenging teaching career, my writing, and an emerging place in the San Francisco writers’ community.
That’s when my longtime companion got a job offer in Los Angeles; I followed. I had to begin again: Reestablish myself at a law school? Check. Meet a writers’ community in Los Angeles? Check.
But I wanted to write a novel. And I wanted to do more than teach writing at a law school. Graduate school beckoned.
University of Southern California accepted me. I received an Assistant Lectureship that allowed me free tuition and an opportunity to teach Critical Thinking and Writing. I embraced the chance to teach an undergraduate course that encouraged both critical thinking and creativity. I worked with the likes of Brighde Mullins, Prince Gomolvilas, Mark Richard, Rita Williams, Bernard Cooper, and Judith Freeman.
A masters degree, a staged play and many short fiction publications later, I am finishing my novel. I still teach law students to be effective writers and thinkers. And as I continue to write, I now coach and teach others—professionals and dreamers who always wanted a creative writing life. Life Coalesces.
This art salon—held at my bungalow in the vibrant, artistic Mt. Washington neighborhood of Los Angeles—celebrates art in progress and inspires community. So many writers and artists work in isolation—and those of us working in long form—become especially isolated. This can affect productivity. So all of us emerging and working artists and writers need community to fuel inspiration and identity.
The salon and subsequent party generally features three writers and three artists who will show, read, or discuss a work in progress. Staged readings of plays, screenplays, performance art, cooking demonstrations are all welcome.
No. We can phone conference or meet via Skype.
Depending on your location, we can work at my bungalow in Mt. Washington near the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles or in a nearby café. I can also come to you.
If you are not in the Los Angeles area, we can work by phone, Skype, and email. After all, we’re writers.
Contact me anyway. We can form a Creative Circle. This is how I deliver my services in a group setting. With a minimum of three people, we can work as a group to meet your individual goals. More than a writing group, this is a goal and accountability group. Contact me for more information.
After I read what you have so far—or we discuss the project you have in mind, we come up with a workable plan. We will subsequently design “homework assignments” so you can feel accountable. I give you feedback to help you move forward. I can even call you each morning to make sure you are writing!
As a writing coach, Alexandra D’Italia is equal parts Max Perkins and Gertrude Stein. She knows exactly what my writing needs are and delivers on her promise to help me through every step of the writing process. Alexandra took a novel that I had lost all hope and interest in, and reinvigorated the project beyond my hopes for a writing coach. She breaks down larger projects into smaller, attainable goals, while also creating accountability by reviewing my pages every week. She is exactly what every writer needs: a constant companion through the isolating art of writing. Her art salons have also helped me feel like a part of a writing community. Alexandra is worth every penny, and then some. - Kyle Beswick
An outstanding writer, communicator, and educator, Alexandra is a gifted creative artist as well as a patient and articulate advocate. She has a special talent for bringing out the best in her students and is professional, but also deeply personal and warm in her approach. I give her my very highest personal recommendation! - Kathy Heintzman
I had the privilege of working on my writing with Alexandra for two years during my law school career. She helped me completely transform my writing style, which gave me the confidence and foundation to improve my verbal communication skills. Alexandra has an incredible amount of patience and understanding when it comes to what coaching and teaching style works best for each individual. I would be completely lost without her help and guidance! - Candace Rodriguez
If you're looking to develop your communication skills, maximize your creative abilities and grow as a writer, Alexandra is the perfect coach. She has conducted many workshops on the importance of organization, clarity, and clean prose that I have found to be extremely valuable. Her feedback and comments are immediately actionable, while also sensitive to my individual creative process. Her teaching style is open, and invites a dialogue. Alexandra's passion is infectious, and it has made me a better writer. - Laura Free
Email me about your project and schedule a consultation, or call (213) 632-8466 to discuss your needs.