My Twisted Writer Brain…

A Few Must-Dos After the Conference.

I just returned from When Words Collide(WWC) a three-day conference in Calgary, Canada.

This well-run conference saw upwards of 800 guests and participants which generated tremendous energy, creativity, and excitement.

Since WWC is more than an eight-hour drive for me I now need to rest up and regroup before I begin to decipher the weekend. (In other words, I need to unpack and get some work done.)

I will tell you though that during the weekend, I led two workshops on writing.

The first entitled: Do You Take Your Characters to Dinner Before Sleeping With Them? This was all about fleshing out your characters and asking a lot of questions that you may never have considered. It was very well received and I look forward to teaching it again. It’s always nice to see a lightbulb go off for someone as they suddenly discover something they hadn’t thought of before.

The other workshop was called Figuring Out Freelance. Just as it suggests, it’s all about freelance writing and making it work for you. One thing that freelancing has done for me is in boosting my platform. I’ve done this by getting my name out there into the world of readers. This has been done through articles, blogs, and my column. It all helps in keeping your name in the forefront.

I also did eight individual blue pencils sessions where I critiqued and edited up to 1,000 words that have been previously submitted by a writer/author.

In this case, I received the submissions about a week beforehand so I had the opportunity to read them carefully. This makes a big difference as it allows for a careful thorough read and consideration of the work. To me, one of the most important things is to respect the work of the writer. Doing a blue pencil (sometimes called a red pencil) is a privilege and is about assisting the writer–not tearing them down.

Believe me, I know that having a stranger read your work and then critique it in front of you is highly intimidating. If it’s done correctly (aka: Professionally) it can be extremely helpful and can assist the author/writer in moving in a direction that is best suited for their intended piece of work.

I’ll have a lot more to say about the conference, my observations, and suggestions but for now, I’ll bid you good-night as I try and catch up on a few zzz’s! See you soon.

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