Every year many aspiring writers resolve to write that story they've been carrying within them for years. And every year they ask themselves “Where do I start?”
Here at Children's Book Writers of Los Angeles we understand that ALL writers need inspiration and industry information. After all, we are writers too! That's why we kickoff each year by hosting an annual Kickstart Your Writing Career Workshop (presented by CBW-LA President, Nutschell Windsor).
This year's Kickstart Your Writing Career Workshop was held on Saturday, January 10, 2015 at El Segundo Public Library. Attendees received a packet chock-full of handouts and worksheets to rev up their creative engines. The workshop covered A LOT of information that can’t fit on here but you can get a peek below at some of the highlights.
Reflecting on Fear
Everyone has fears and writers are no exception. It’s not uncommon for a writer to wonder if they’re good enough, if they have what it takes or if they will ever be published. It begs the question, “How do you deal with it?”
Nutschell presented two definitions of F-E-A-R for perspective.
Forget Everything And Run
Face Everything And Rise
Nutschell then gave writers time to quietly reflect on their fears by naming them and facing them. Naming a fear enables you to reduce its power and work through it.
Nutschell then gave writers time to quietly reflect on their writing fears by naming them and facing them. Naming a fear enables you to reduce its power and work through it.
Here are some of the questions participants were given (which you can reflect on as well):
What is preventing you from having a writing career?
What doubts do you have about yourself as writer?
What are your worst writing fears?
Why does writing make you happy? What are the joys of writing?
Pathways to Publications
Publication is every writer’s dream. Thanks to advances in technology there are more options to get your words in front of an audience each with their own pros and cons.
Traditional publishing is the Emerald City destination for a writer. While it is the most arduous of all publishing pathways, many authors feel that it lends credibility to their work when printed by a publishing house. Another perk of traditional publishing is that there is a team of people (e.g. editors, cover art designers, marketers, etc.) that handle the business side of writing. This route may be ideal for the author who wants to focus on writing.
Self-publishing is the fast track to getting your story published. While it may carry a stigma within the publishing industry, many authors have found it lucrative because of its author royalty (Amazon authors get 70%!). The challenge is that authors may invest a lot of their money or time into the business side. This route may be ideal for the author who wants full-control of their book.
Community publishing has socialized writing. Websites like Wattpad give authors an entire community of readers who can read, comment and share the author’s story. It’s a viable way for a writer to gain readership before publishing via self-publishing or traditional publishing.
Commitment to Write Contract
Your writing dreams need your commitment! Writers were given a contract template on which they handwrote the following commitment to themselves and their writing dreams:
I am a writer.
I will commit time and patience into achieving my writing goals.
This year, my biggest writing goals are: (list goals)
I will do everything in my power to have the writing future I envision.
I will become an author.
Writers signed and dated their commitment contracts and had fellow attendees witness these contracts. It turned into an encouraging meet-and-greet where writers wished each other well on their goals and writing dreams. This concluded the 2015 Kickstart Your Writing Career Workshop on a high note.
If you missed the Kickstart workshop, don’t fret! Check out our events page for a listing of upcoming workshops and critique sessions: http://cbw-la.org/events
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