|L to R - Virginia Smith, me, Annie Jones, Laura Resnick|
The Clear Creek Writers' Workshop was lots of fun last Saturday. The writers' group held it in a historic home in Shelbyville that added to the atmosphere of books and talk. The best part of the day, of course, was meeting new writing friends. Here I am in the line-up with fellow workshop presenters, Ginny Smith and Annie Jones. Laura Resnick was the keynote speaker and joined us for the panel here as we were getting ready to answer questions. Most of the questions seemed to deal with technology and what a writer should do to have a presence on the internet. I stayed mostly quiet and listened to the experts. They had some good ideas about focusing your blogging energy and making sure you had great content.
Great advice. I hear it everywhere I go and writers start handing out advice about how to establish a presence on the net. Well, I'm here. I'm talking, but I don't know about that great content stuff. I always want to ask, "What do you call great content?" Information on how to live to be one hunded and five? Hints about what to cook for supper? Advice on how to get the ten and twelve-year-old siblings to stop fighting?
Or maybe how to write a bestseller? How to meet a deadline? Now we're getting into some good content. Uh, maybe even great content. And the thing is I'm guessing there are already a dozen or a few hundred blogs that address those very things. There are blogs on everything. Raising dogs. Horses. Chickens. I'm guessing there are even blogs about eating chicken or maybe not eating chicken. So I listened to the others and tried to learn.
Here are some of the writers who were ready to ply us with their questions. Earlier I had shared with them my "confessions." That was the title of the workshop. "Confessions of a Working Writer." Confession wasn't hard. I told them about my ups and downs as a writer. Then I told them how the very best thing any writer can do if they really want to write is write. That desire or unstoppable will to put words on paper or computer screen can't be taught. It has to rise from within the writer.
But I did love their workshop title. Then they gave my session the title, "Even a historical fiction writer has to stay current." Maybe that was the reason for all the electronic conversation. They were trying to keep me current. Did I say "keep" me current? I probably should be saying try to get me to inch at least a little closer to current. Maybe close enough that I can see the distant shoreline even if I do know that I'm never going to get my little electronic boat rowed to shore.
Content, Ann, content! Are you noticing what I'm seeing here with these words? Con'tent and con-tent.' They don't sound alike, but they look exactly the same. So I can be content with my content. And I'll hope some of my readers will be content too.
But since I'm talking about content, you can be looking forward to some great content on Sunday when I'll be posting Suzanne Woods Fisher's interview about raising guide puppies and writing bestselling Amish books. What do you know? There's that great content about how to get on the bestseller lists. Suzanne knows how it's done because she does it all the time. If you leave a comment for her interview on Sunday, she'll also be giving away a copy of one of her books to a lucky winner.
Thanks for reading my contented content. That's where writers get in trouble, isn't it? When they get content with their content and don't keep pushing for better and better content. Hope the sun is shining down on you and if there are storms that the dark clouds are flying so high over you way up in the sky that you barely feel the breeze as they pass over.