Limits? We Don’t Need No Stinking Limits!
I’ve just returned home from a Marketing Workshop given by Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Katherine Rusch. An intense week-long workshop, it combines the business and craft side of writing. Kris and Dean have a strict no blogging during the week policy due to the brain melting that occurs. You definitely need to finish to see how the structure of the workshop benefits your writing.
Mornings found Dean presenting a history of publishing and the business aspects of marketing our work. Evenings had Kris tossing us into the deep end, writing a proposal every night. That’s a full novel proposal every night! Then there were the nights when we were required to write two versions of the proposals at two different lengths, meanwhile writing tag lines, pitches and blurbs for the proposals from the previous night, then adding in press release/letters to book stores and cover letters…. cue brain melting!
Besides the how to write and business aspects, my greatest learning occurred as I pushed past my limits, writing more in one week than I ever have before. I also learned not to prejudge my ideas before I get them down. So what if it’s silly or stupid or doesn’t make sense, write it anyway. Just because I wrote it down doesn’t mean I have to use it. Funny enough, when I wrote some of those silly, stupid, nonsensical ideas, they didn’t seem so useless after all. Funny that.
As well, turning off the critical voice and just writing without rewriting and the idea of practicing writing by focusing on different aspect makes writing even more fun, more exciting. I came away with a greater understanding of many things, including how the current situation in publishing is just another manifestation of the historical cycle (a distribution shift), and how to get the hell out of my own way so I can write. Plus I met some fantastic, supportive writers open to the new world of publishing and I’m honoured to count them as friends.
Thanks, Kris and Dean for a challenging, intense workshop that pushed me to my limits and beyond! When folks ask me how my vacation was, I’ll be saying, vacation? What vacation? Excuse me, I have to get some writing done!