It’s two days since I got home from Write! Canada. Already the conference is beginning to take on the aura of a dream. Going to a conference like this is a lot like going to summer camp: intense, real, vital and exciting while you’re there; surreal when you get home and reflect on it.
Again I took my laptop to every session and have lots of typed notes, synced via Evernote right here on the desktop of my iMac (I love you Evernote!).
What made the five days away really special was being able to live with my friend Mary in her beautiful stone cottage in the picturesque town of Elora, Ontario for the duration. On Thursday before the conference began, and again on Saturday after it was over, Mary toured me around the town. So I’m going to share a bit of the conference and Elora in several posts.
Continuing Class – “Platform”
I signed up for Jane Friedman‘s continuing class “Platform” (six one-hour sessions sitting at the feet of this media guru!). She was great—so organized and open to questions. And generous. She put her slide sets for all six sessions online for anyone to access later. They’re HERE and HERE.
We were also given the choice of three one-session workshops.
The first one I attended was taught by Sandra Reimer: “From Article Writer to Corporate Content Creator.” Sandra runs her own company called Reimer Reason Communications with the goal of “Helping world-changers tell their stories.” She writes newsletters, brochures and other public relations materials for non-profits. She told us how she got into the field, described her job and showed us samples of her work.
She does a lot of interviews. I thought some of her insights were excellent. For example, when interviewing she said to: “Listen for the hook that is the lid on a treasure box. Listen for the passion. Watch for things that signal there’s more. Be aware of when the person you’re interviewing gets emotional or says something that requires further information. People are testing you to see if you’re really listening. If you pay attention they will give you a precious thing. You’ll come away with the gold.”
Some of the points made by this panel were:
- Be scrupulously honest.
- Be professional
- Have as your goal to make the client’s life easier.
- Upsell: think of other things you can do around the writing. (Reimer-Reason Communications offers website, business card and logo design, as well as helping the client develop a communications strategy).
- Get it in writing—and signed.
- Don’t take your spiritual walk out of your business.
- A servant heart will get you more places than all your skill and expertise.
The third workshop I attended was “Writing WOW Bible Studies” with Simon Presland. Thankfully he had great handouts, because he didn’t get finished all the material he brought. I did get some notes though. Here are a few tidbits from his lecture:
- Bible Studies begin with God.
- A mantra for the Christian writer: “Wait for it” – Habbakuk 2:3 (NLT)
- Of anything you write, Bible studies will be the most spiritual. We who are imperfect write for the One who is perfect. We don’t get the whole picture. It’s about waiting, developing, moving in His timing, according to His purposes and plans.
- Pray. Study. Write.
- Write for God, then write for the publishing house. Be a servant in everything you do.