March – I Attended My Second Writer’s Workshop

I attended my second workshop for writing right in Avondale, Arizona. When we moved here 11 years ago, I didn’t realize the city would help me grow as a writer. I’ve been writing most of my life.  When I finally took the plunge, submitting to an editor, I joined an online critique group very specific to that genre – Star Trek Strange New Worlds. I was very happy to find friendly and informative writers there.

Then I found a local writing critique group. I emailed Sandi Layne, explaining to her I don’t drive. She sent me the best reply, I remember to this day. If you email me your address, I’ll pick you up. Don’t wig out. It was great not many strangers would offer to carpool nor would most people trust a stranger to email their address and then get in the car. I did.

I met some great people from the writing group. This past October, I saw the city of Avondale was offering a full day writer’s conference. I signed up it wasn’t too far, I could bum a ride off my hubby. Well there was a scheduling conflict, hubby was going to be out of town.  All worked out because one of the friends I met in Sandi’s group, signed up for the conference too. She and I attended the conference together, and her daughter even stayed to babysit my Little One for the afternoon.

The workshop I attended on March 12th was well worth it. The presenter, Landon J. Napolean, opened up with – No one knows anything, which caught my attention. My first advice as a writer was, Write what you know. This was Landon’s advice, too, with an original presentation. No one knows you but you. Write the story you want to tell and don’t let self doubt get in your way. Since I have taken the plunge and submitted writings to editors and critique groups, I’ve worked through self doubt.

Is this piece good enough to submit?
Will anyone want to read it?
What if everyone says it stinks?

The last one is what hangs up most want-to-be writers. Many people think, What if everyone says I stink? As a writer, you do have to learn to separate yourself from your writing. A critique group or editor is not judging you as a person when they are looking at your work; they are judging the work.

As a way of pushing us through our self doubt, Landon had us work on creating a premise and then writing a gripping opening. Hmm… I just signed up as a skywriter and it so happens the skyword team teaches you how to put keywords from your title in your opening sentence to optimize an Internet search. Grab the reader’s attention right away.

The next thing a writer should work on is the ending. Know how the character will resolve the conflict and meet (or maybe fall short) of the goal. Then work out the middle. Remembering each part of the story should advance the character to his intended goal.

Veronica Hosking

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