Janet Sumner Johnson
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LDStorymakers 2015

Gems from LDStorymakers Conference


25, 2015 |

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Last weekend I went to LDStorymakers writing conference. I went with a critique partner and I got to meet my agent which was pretty awesome (!!!). And I should totally have a picture of this momentous occasion, but I don’t. I’m like the worst ever at remembering to take pictures. In fact, I didn’t even take one picture during the whole conference. I know, right??? I guess I was just too busy soaking in all the writerly Karma of the place. 🙂

The thing I love best about writing conferences is that they help me remember why I love writing in the first place. And they help me remember all those things that make my writing better.

I don’t want to re-hash everything I learned because one, that would be boring, and two, that would be copyright infringement. However, I did want to share a couple of gems.

FIRST: You may laugh at this one, but I said a big AMEN!  Peggy Eddleman gave a class on getting your writing mojo back. One point she made is that as writers, we seem to think we earn the writer’s badge by missing sleep. We stay up late. Work off of two hours sleep. And somehow this is a bragging point. Well it’s not. WE NEED SLEEP TO FUNCTION. Obviously everyone is different and we all need different amounts of sleep. But skipping sleep is not doing ourselves any favors!

So, don’t be afraid to go to bed on-time to get a full night’s sleep. Then you will be refreshed and ready to tackle a new day and fresh ideas. [And no, we won’t talk about the irony of the fact that I am staying up late to write this.]

SECOND: I attended a class by Chad Morris and Brandon Mull about the 3 parts that make an awesome story idea. While there was lots of good stuff, the gem I got was that every trouble needs a payoff. That may sound obvious. But I needed the reminder. I can’t just make my characters go through hard things and expect my readers to enjoy that. There has to be a moment that makes it all worth it. Both to the character and the reader.

And THIRD: This one came from a class on Description by Sarah Eden. We talked about all kinds of things, but one piece of advice that stuck out was this: Never interrupt your own story! Well, duh. Except I do this! Description should be organic, and if it disrupts the flow, then you’ve done it wrong.

I know. None of this stuff is new and exciting. But amazingly, what I need from conferences is not new and exciting info. What I need is a reminder (preferably in a not boring way) of all the things I know, but have forgotten.

When’s the last time you went to a conference? And what do you get out of them?

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Happy New Year!


05, 2015 |

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So I popped off for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and then the
boat left the dock without me, and I missed all of December. Family and Writing
(Well, revising, but same whatever).

My writing space

Anyway, it’s the new year, and we’ve had the discussion of Resolutions vs. Goals, so today I’m listing a few GOALS (nothing so wishy-washy as a
resolution for me, thank you very much!).

5 days a week
. I don’t write on Sundays, and I need some leeway for the
other 6 (I’m all about not feeling cramped). However, to keep myself from the
path of insanity, I’m adding this: I get a smiley face for as little as ONE
page (written or revised). For the record, I usually do more, but this keeps my
mind free from feeling weighed down by the burden of it. It lets me enjoy. Oh yeah! And I’m giving myself 1
month of vacation, too. It’s only fair. Yeah I’m weird. But I’m totally owning

revising my 2 WIPS (Works in Progress)
. After spending all of November
and December revising, I am confident this is doable. (Assuming I really stick
to goal #1). 😉

a first draft of a new book
. I have the book in mind, and it’s actually
started. I can do this. I can!

at least two picture books
. I wanted to just say one. But I want to
push myself a bit. Plus, after my September class, I’m really excited to do
this. It might be a summer thing, but I have at least one idea ready to be developed.
And just maybe I’ll take that class again to help me along. J

at least one writing conference
. Okay, I’m taking the easy way out
here, because I’m all signed up for LDStorymakers in May. But we all need at
least one gimmee, right?

And I think I’ll stop there because all of that will keep me
plenty busy. So how about you? What are your goals (writing or not)?

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