Last Wednesday, I had the pleasure of doing a workshop with another writing group in L.A.’s South Bay area. Their organizer Eric, invited me through Monika—one of his members, who also happens to be a part of my own CBW-LA as well.
This was my first ever invitation to do a workshop with another writing group, and naturally I pounced on the opportunity. I wouldn’t be getting paid, but I would have the opportunity to meet new writers, tell them about CBW-LA, promote our upcoming workshops, and even do a bit of self-promotion (which might help when I eventually launch my book).
I was a bit nervous to be speaking outside of my own group, but also ecstatic that I would be meeting new writers. I was afraid, too, that I might forget some parts of my workshop, even with a powerpoint presentation to guide me, but as soon as I stepped in front of the crowd, my Teacher Mode kicked in and words just flowed easily.
I modified the Kickstarting Workshop which I always do at the beginning of the year for my own group, shortening it to fit my allotted 1 hour and 30 minutes. Despite the shorter time I was still able to cover all the topics I had wanted to cover.
I divided my workshop with the Beach Cities Writing Group into 4 parts:
I. REFLECTION: HOW FAR ARE YOU ON THE WRITE PATH?
Before we achieve the kind of future we want, we must take a good look at our past and present.
The first part of the workshop will help you reflect on your writing journey so far, and help you see how far you’ve come along the “write” path. I’ve designed questions which will help you uncover your real motivation for writing, your inspirations for writing, your strengths and weaknesses as a writer, and questions that will help you figure out what kind of writer you’ve set out to be.
II. REFLECTION: WHAT DO WE SEE AT THE END OF THE “WRITE” PATH?
Now that we have an idea of how far along we’ve traveled on our writing journey, we can look ahead into the future.
In this portion of the workshop, we will discuss the power of visualization, and how you can use this in your mental training as a writer. You will also visualize your writing dreams and determine the kind of writing career you want for yourself.
III. REALITY: PUBLISHING 101
In order for us to make our dreams come true, we must first come to terms with the reality around us. Before we even begin to figure out our writing goals, we need to first know what publishing options we have.
In this portion of the workshop, we will talk about Traditional Publishing and Self-Publishing. We’ll learn about how a book is published traditionally, including the 7 processes that transform your manuscript into a published book.
We will also discuss various self-publishing options, as well as the pros and cons for both Traditional Publishing and Self-Publishing.
IV. YOUR WRITING CAREER
The first step to getting published is to make a commitment to writing.
In this final part of the workshop, you will be given a chance to make a commitment to your writing career, by signing a contract between you and your writing dreams.
We will also figure out how to translate the writing dreams you visualized into SMART writing goals.
I mixed in writing inspiration with writing education—encouraging writers to dream big, but also giving them the necessary dose of reality to help turn their dreams into workable goals. I ended the workshop by asking them to sign a writing contract between themselves and their writing dreams and to have fellow writers witness these contracts by signing the page as well.
I love teaching so this workshop was really fun for me. I had a great time meeting new writers and sharing whatever knowledge I had gleaned from my own research and experience. Hopefully, this experience will open more doors and allow me to do more workshops and speaking engagements with other writing organizations.
**My special thanks to Eric and Monica and all the members of Beach Cities Writing Group for giving me this opportunity!**
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