There are so many things that I love about going to conferences, but my favorite is the keynote speeches that are presented at lunch or dinner. As a creative being and a writer, those talks are a gentle push to keep going as they reinforce inspiration. They help remind me to ground myself, focus, and to listen to the soft whispering’s of stories that are waiting for me to put them on the page. I’m invigorated often in those speeches from well-known writers who have been at their craft for years and centuries.
I love being a writer. It’s so much a part of who I am.
On the days that I don’t write, I feel it. There’s a stirring within me that’s begging me to create, to express, and to explore the things that I deeply need to share. Not in the way that other’s may want me to share them, but in the way that my heart desires to talk openly and freely within myself. There’s a freedom there to create without fear of judgement, criticism, or backlash for what others think you should and shouldn’t write. Because, in the space that I’ve created, it’s just me. It’s also my heart, my computer, and passionate words on a page all connecting to ideas, thoughts, and beautiful stories at the tip of my fingers.
I AM a writer.
I AM a creator.
I AM exploring who I am.
I love all that comes with this.
Hallie Ephron, Author of You’ll Never Know Dear spoke at California Crime Writers as one of the keynote speakers. Her words held definition and meaning in me.
Here’s some brilliant advice that Hallie gives about how to be a writer and the writing journey.
- Save all your writing, even if you think its crap. “Today’s crap, may be tomorrow’s compost.”
- Take notes.
- Make physical space to write.
- Cut out social network and distractions.
- Pay attention to those things that interest you deeply, not what’s selling. Act on your fear.
- Be your own cheerleader.
- Reading is the best way to learn from the greats.
- You’re not going to come out of the gate being successful. You need to practice and work constantly.
- Hold your nose and write.
- Slash and burn. Be ruthless. Take out your darlings, but keep them in another folder for a different project.
- Plot twists that don’t surprise you, won’t surprise the reader.
- Make sure things in your writing are credible.
- Prepare for rejection. Aim high.
- Embrace flawed characters, and even your own flaws. We must all embrace our strengths and weaknesses.
- Be willing to listen. Take feedback with grace and adapt with your work.
- Don’t wait until you sell the book to celebrate. Constantly celebrate rather it’s when you write “The End,” finish a revision, get great feedback, get a request for pages, or come up with a new story idea. Enjoy all of it!!
- Make it the journey that counts. Enjoy the friendships and embrace the pages you never knew you could write. Focus on the experiences and the people. Make sure to take notes through it all.
At the end of the day, I create for me because it makes me happy. No one can write the stories in my heart the same way that I can. I love reading for the same reason as I get to view the world through other writer’s eyes in a way that I’d never seen before.
Art is miraculous.
It inspires people, educates us, and tells stories on many levels.
Don’t stop sharing who you are and I promise I won’t stop sharing all of me.
WE ARE WRITERS!!!
Lauri Schoenfeld’s first love is her little clan of three silly kidlets and her wonderful hubby, Andy. Writing is a close second. She began writing poems at the age of nine, and her love for literature and music developed into composing thirty songs. In 2014 her short story, Christmas Treasure, was featured in an anthology called, Angels from their Realms of Story. Her favorite genre to write is anything dark, psychological, and suspenseful, but she enjoys expanding her horizons and dipping her feet in other genres as well. Lauri teaches summer writing classes for kids and mentors teens throughout the year. She’s a Child Abuse and Scoliosis Survivor. Lauri runs a group for teen girls with Scoliosis called, The S Squad. Their motto is Strength, Support and Self Confidence. She’s been known to dance around the house with a spoon as her microphone and sneak toppings from the ice cream bar. Lauri’s taken online classes at the Institute of Children’s Literature and was the President of the League of Utah Writers, Oquirrh Chapter for two years. She’s a member of Crime Writers and International Thriller Writers.