Saturday, September 26, 2015

Recap: September 2015 Westside Writers Mingle - "Writing Tips, Ideas, and Advice."

The September Westside Schmooze was all about newness: new co-coordinators Laurie Young and myself (Lori Snyder), new name for our gathering (Mingles), new location (the Ocean Park branch of the Santa MonicaPublic Library), and a new date (first Wednesday of the month). Phew!

Our topic was “Writing Tips, Ideas, and Advice,” and we kicked it off with this great quote from E.L. Doctorow: “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”  From there, we opened it up to everyone to share their favorite tip or piece of advice, many of which came from this year’s summer SCBWI conference.

Some highlights (and, sadly, I didn’t write down which Mingler contributed these, so I apologize in advance for not giving credit where credit is due):

“Be specific.” ~ Kwame Alexander

“Know your sensibilities. Your books are bouillon cubes for your sensibility.” ~ Meg Wolitzer

“As editors, we’re not acquiring your pages. We’re acquiring the vision they represent.” ~ Jordon Brown

“If you read a draft and something jumps out at you three times, you have to do something about it.” ~ Adam Rex

“Be intentional about your time and treat writing like a real job.” ~ Varian Johnson

And a couple of links that were shared:

John Cleese on creativity (Molly Idle recommended):

Susan Dennard’s blog on revision (Jenny Bent recommended):

We closed out the Mingle with a writing exercise. In case you’d like to play along at home, here it is:

Invent a situation in which a character is forced to change his or her name.

You have ten minutes…GO!

Our next meeting is Wednesday, October 7, from 7 pm – 8L45 pm, at the Ocean Park branch of the Santa Monica library. If you feel so inclined, we would welcome any baked goods to share!

October’s topic:

Getting Paid for your Craft: Can You Make a Living as a Writer?

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.” ~ Stephen King

Um, yes, Stephen. True. But maybe we could make some money at it, too? A frank and practical look at the different ways to make money as a writer, including brainstorming on how to branch out in ways you might not have thought about.

PLEASE NOTE!!! This is not a class or workshop where we tell you how to get rich from your writing. (For that, please Google “get rich off your writing” and see all the sure-fire ways this can happen. Look! I did it for you!) Rather, this is a round table discussion. We will be bringing in some interesting ideas on unusual avenues for writing revenue, thoughts on combining other loves and talents with writing to start up a new business, and also some facts about writing and money…but please bring in your ideas, questions, thoughts, comments, worries, etc. so we can all have a rousing good time.

Can’t wait to see you all –

With love & books,

Lori & Laurie