Tag Archives: writing about writing

Accidental News & Other Stories

When I first started this blog a year and a half ago, my goal was to inspire other writers by writing about writing and offering advice, tips and strategies. In the past few months, I’ve been incredibly busy with numerous projects, and saw my blog evolve into a sort of scrapbook about my own writing (and producing) life. I hope, by recounting my projects, I can convince even one person to follow their own writing path and strive to make their dreams a reality.

While I still have more advice to offer, they will come in due time. For now, I enjoy sharing my accomplishments, goals and fears with others and hope something can be taken away from my own experiences.  It’s hard out there for a pimp writer, so it is important to set goals and work hard to achieve them, never doubting ourselves along the way. Seeing what other writers have accomplished certainly helps. As writers, we know that writing cannot be forced, no matter how often we’re told to write even if we don’t feel like it. In my opinion, a writer should never force something that isn’t there, but when the muse does strike, they need to embrace it.

Here’s some quick advice before I dedicate an entire blog (in the far future) to a specific aspect of writing: During the writing process, use every method possible to get your writing out there and share it with others. Criticism Feedback will do nothing but help improve what is already there. The world is a wealth of information and there are more resources out there than ever. Join a writer’s group and use the feedback to improve your work. You’ll come out a stronger writer and gain followers in the process.

And now, some news: Tonight, I prepare to premiere my short film, Le Chapeau, at the Bungalow Club in Hollywood. We’ve been editing since May, producing a website version and numerous different cuts of the project. It is finally done and ready to screen to the public in the pre-festival premiere. A creative work is always a long process, but sticking with it can be incredibly rewarding. Even when you feel like giving up, DON’T. You’ll kick yourself later and the pain just isn’t worth it.

There’s more exciting news to come about Le Chapeau and other projects, which I will share soon. Until then, here’s a quick clip of the film.

Write on!

The Accidental Blogger

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Guest Post: 5 Tips on Maximizing a Writers’ Conference

Writer’s Digest, a great resource for any writer, recently emailed a newsletter from one of their sponsors. Since the actual text is not available on the Writer’s Digest website, and the email only went out to subscribers, I thought it would be beneficial to re-post the information here. It is valuable advise for any writer planning on attending a conference sometime in the near, or not so near, future.

Planning to attend a writing conference? Read these five tips to ensure an experience you’ll savor long after you’ve left the hotel lobby.

1. Choose sessions you find interesting
It’s no secret you need to know how to write a sparkling query, but you’re intrigued to find out how journaling can release your creative muse. Go for the muse. Hundreds of websites will be waiting at home to tell you how to write a query letter. Whenever you attend a lecture or reading, you never know what you’ll take away. That’s the beauty of being open to whatever information the speaker decides to bring.

2. Resist taking copious notes.
You’ll retain more when you are focused on listening, not rushing to take down every word leaving the speaker’s mouth. If your type-A personality insists, jot down inspiring bullet points you can hang above your desk. If you waste time taking a ton of notes, more likely you’ll miss the most important things being said and lose an opportunity to engage in the moment.

3. Mingle.
Walk around and talk with people between sessions. Find out what other writers are working on and get inspired by their imagination. During meals, sit at a table where you don’t know anyone or, if obligation demands you sit with your friends, invite someone you don’t know to sit at your table too. This is your chance to exchange ideas with other artists, so don’t be shy.

4. Talk less, listen more, and ask concise questions.
Don’t be “that guy” at the conference who is always in the midst of a 20-minute story outline. Don’t worry about impressing people. You’re here to ingest expert knowledge, not disseminate yours.

5. Bring at least one piece of your work.
Most conferences have open mic during the evening hours. Choose short pieces—shoot for 1,000 words in length or something that can be read comfortably in less than five minutes. It should be polished enough for public presentation, but be sure to bring something even if you write it specifically for the conference. Reading your work out loud builds self-confidence and helps transcend the fear of exposure common to so many of us writers.

Above all, remember the conference is the easy part. Writing is the real work that will be waiting when you return home. So enjoy yourself and let the conference energize your creative spirit; it will follow through in your writing.

This guest column was written by Jessica Monday, freelancer and aspiring novelist for the Writer’s Digest Guide to Literary Agents blog.

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