I’ve been suffering from writer’s block for a while now. There are a few different schools of thought regarding the condition, one of which is that it doesn’t exist and is simply an excuse to not write. I don’t agree with that, but everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion.
For me, writer’s block is when I sit down at the computer and my mind goes completely blank. I stare at my blinking curser without forming a single sentence. As someone with a ton of irons in the proverbial fire, it’s beyond frustrating. I have several projects to complete and many more that need started. Even this blog post took several attempts to start. I can’t begin to tell you the number of blank drafts I closed last week.
That all changed when I attended a meeting of the Springfield Writers’ Guild on Saturday via Zoom. They were meeting in person for the first time in a year and a half, but I woke up with a sore throat and decided it was best to stay home and join virtually. I didn’t want to take the chance of spreading any viruses around on the off chance this malady isn’t allergy related. I’m sure those in attendance appreciate that decision.
This was my first SWG meeting, and the only reason I wanted to attend was to hear the guest speaker, Heather Burch. However, I was impressed by the entire meeting and inspired by several of the authors who shared their recent accomplishments and upcoming publications. I was particularly intrigued by an opportunity shared by Bestselling Thriller Author J.C. Fields during the meeting. I will be exploring the market he mentioned further.
I was already feeling my creativity start to awaken when the guest speaker was introduced. Heather Burch is a friend of mine and a wildly successful bestselling author whose books have been translated into a dozen languages. She was presenting on plotting your novel, which I didn’t want to miss. Her presentation was called “Plot in a Day, Write in a Month,” and she has published a workbook by the same title to guide authors through the process she uses to write her incredible books.
I loved her method of plotting, which is less restrictive than a traditional outline. I’ve never been good at staying inside the lines or writing within strict confines. I believe I can work with Heather’s method. It makes sense to my chaotic mind.
Thankfully, I had the foresight to order Heather’s workbook in advance instead of planning to buy it from her in person. I did that because I wasn’t sure how many people would be flocking to her table to buy the book at the meeting, and I wanted to be sure to get one. I had planned to have her sign it at the meeting, though. My darned sore throat ruined that part of my plan, but the workbook is worth its weight in gold even if it isn’t autographed. Perhaps I can have her autograph my book when I see her in August.
If you’re an author or an aspiring author and you get a chance to hear Heather speak, I highly recommend you do so. I learn something new from her every time she makes a presentation. She’s personable, relatable, and knowledgeable. The day I met her at an Ozarks Romance Authors meeting a few years ago was the day I met a true inspiration.
You can see Heather Burch, J.C. Fields, and many other writing and publishing industry greats June 17th, 18th, and 19th of 2022 at Between the Pages Writers Con in Springfield, Missouri. I can hardly wait to attend this conference, which is made possible by Springfield Writers’ Guild, Sleuths’ Ink Mystery Writers, and Ozarks Romance Authors. Here’s a link if you’d like to check it out. https://btpwriterscon.com/
Zooming with the Springfield Writers’ Guild over the weekend was a great decision. Thanks to the fine people of the SWG and their amazing speaker, I feel energized and ready to create. My only regret is that I couldn’t attend in person and the feel the tingle of all of that creative energy that was undoubtedly zinging through the room.
I’m not a member of Springfield Writers’ Guild because I’m a member of Joplin Writers’ Guild, my local organization. They are both branches of the Missouri Writers’ Guild. I don’t have the time or energy to add another group to my plate at this time, but I appreciate them allowing me to attend as a guest. It was a great meeting, and I may join them sometime in the future.
For now, I want to thank everyone from Saturday’s Zoom, especially Heather, for bringing my muse back to me.
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