In the past year I haven’t had the opportunity to attend a writer’s conference, seminar, workshop or lecture. This was something I really looked forward to in the past, but with the pandemic stay at home/lockdown in place there wasn’t a choice. But I discovered another choice…online opportunities with famous name authors! In the past year I’ve listened to Curtis Sittenfeld, Kristan Higgins (several times), and Kristin Hannah. These were all FREE! They were all through Zoom, and are now on YouTube.
If you can get past the disappointment of not leaving home, these are fantastic chances to learn from some very talented writers. I watch them live, but then tune back into YouTube so I could stop/start the chat and write down notes. I loved this one with Kristin Hannah which aired soon after The Four Winds was published. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AIeW2V410w&t=3799s
Follow your favorite writers on social media.
Watch for book launches, or special events. Register if necessary.
Ask questions! Because there are less attendees than at an actual conference a question may get more notice from the author. Be prepared with some good ones.
This morning I listened to a voice memo that I made while I drove home from a hair appointment two months ago. It enlightened me. I’d forgotten I’d even made it. Sometimes driving time is a highly creative time for me. I think of writing lines that would fit right into the essay I’m working on, but by the time I stop driving I’ve forgotten it. On this day I decided to record it. I stopped in a parking lot so I wasn’t driving while recording. The main thought I wanted to get down was that I often don’t let myself flesh out ideas, I’m in too much of a hurry to get it finished. It’s all part of another essay, but what I wanted to remember was that I used a tool to further my writing (voice memo) that I’d never used before.
I teach 3rd grade full time Monday-Friday. My mind is so full of children, behavior plans, lessons, testing, distance learning, parent texts, and more that I often don’t even try to write. Yet I have those thoughts at curious moments, and I know if I could preserve them I would use them in my writing. Voila! The voice memo! I’ll use it more often now. I just hope the great ideas don’t come while in conversation with coworkers as even a voice memo can’t help me then.
Another thing that have helped me capture my writing while working somewhere else full time:
-Teaching myself to write down rough drafts with other people in the room. I did this all the time when my sons were growing up. It counted as family time if we were all watching TV, but I was jotting down rough sentences with plans to edit later when I was alone.
What are some ways you write even when your mind is full of other work plans?
….and I’ve been writing for a long time. Writing is fun, meditative, exciting, and one of my favorite ways to spend my time on a weekend. On my writing page you can see some of my past credits over the years.
I can finally say I have a published book in my hands. It’s here and it’s titled Cat Speak – Revealing Answers to the Strangest Cat Behaviors (Capstone). Writing it was a fantastic experience and I’m delighted with how it looks and reads!
This year I’m spending my week days with five and six year olds as a kindergarten teacher. There are so many writing ideas that bubble up each day. My journal is getting filled up.
Thanks for visiting me. I know this is going to be the best day of my life and I hope it is for you too!