Jump-start Your Writing: How Workshops Can MotivateI recently took my car in to have the oil changed and have the 25,000-mile check. Having regular service on your car can make it run better and last longer. It can also help prevent future problems. Now maybe you're wondering why I'm talking about servicing automobiles on a blog that is supposed to be about writing.
Sometimes a writer needs maintenance, too. How can a writer maintain the ability to get started on a new project? We've had a lot of good advice so far this month about getting started, and one way can be through workshops or conferences. How many of you have gone to a workshop or conference and come away ready to write? The workshop has put your motivation in high gear. That's what I want to talk about today.
Workshops of all sorts are available on line or in person. Conferences can have a variety of workshops on different subjects, or you may prefer a one-day workshop that covers one topic in depth. Either way the opportunity to gain information about writing and to interact with other writers can boost your desire to dig in and get started on the story that's been burning in your head. Not only do workshops motivate, they can also give you the tools you need to make that motivation work for you.
Whether it is a conference that lasts several days and has multiple workshops or a one-day workshop that exhausts one subject, you may feel overwhelmed with the information. Just this past weekend, I attended a Donald Maass workshop. I came away with pages and pages of notes and some actual passages that I plugged into my current proposal as soon as I got home. But immediately after the workshop, a writer friend who had attended the workshop with me asked me what was the most important thing I had learned. As I hesitated to come up with an answer, she mentioned that she always went into a workshop or conference with the goal of taking away one thing that would help her writing. That way she didn't feel overloaded with information. I thought that was a good way to approach workshops. Make it your goal to come away with one piece of advice that will make your writing rise to a new level.
Just as cars need maintenance, so do writers. Do your writing life a favor and rejuvenate it by attending a conference or workshop.
Below I've listed the dates, locations, and Web sites for more information on some upcoming opportunities to give your writing a jump start.
One-day Writers' Workshop with Bob Mayer
February 9, 2008
Hilton Atlanta Northeast, Atlanta, Georgia
Written in the Stars 2008
Clarion Hotel, Shreveport, LA
March 1, 2008
Empowering Characters' Emotions
Comfort Inn & Suites Airport, Syracuse, NY
March 28-29, 2008
Jacksonville Marriott, Jacksonville, FL
March 28-29, 2008
Dreamin' in Dallas
Southfork Hotel, Plano, TX
April 4-5, 2008
Let Your Imagination Take Flight
Crowne Plaza, Natick, MA
April 11-12, 2008
Hampton Inn Beach Resort, Pensacola Beach, FL
April 11-13, 2008
Chicago North Spring Fling
Hyatt, Deerfield, IL
April 25-26, 2008
Romance--Bridging the World
RWA's 28th Annual National Conference
San Francisco, CA
July 30-August 2, 2008