Remember that moment in Star Wars when the Millennium Falcon suddenly goes into hyperdrive? Fantastic enough to be hurtling through space, but lightspeed acceleration bumped it up into a whole new, epic dimension.
Translated into writing terms, that’s what I just experienced over the last eight days.
I was lucky enough to be included in a small group of writers and publishing professionals for a Business Master Class on the Oregon coast. I spent my week with Joanna Penn, Dean Wesley Smith, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Mark Lefebvre, Chuck Heintzelman, M.L. Buchman, Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Cantrell, Lindsay Buroker, Dayle A. Dermatis, Lee Allred, and many more folks who write, publish, and market on the highest levels.
And it was intense!
This is a cutting-edge group of professionals, and I learned a mind-blowing amount of valuable information. My struggle, now, is to put it to use, and to balance the technical and business aspects against my number one imperative—write more stories.
The theme of our meeting was time management and setting priorities, and here are some of the take-aways from my week:
Kevin J. Anderson convinced me to give dictation a try. He lives in Colorado, and is an avid hiker and prolific best-selling writer. He’s learned to combine dictation with physical activities for multi-tasking par excellence. During a late-night chat at the Historic Anchor Inn, I expressed my skepticism, but he coached me to start by just sketching out my character or setting or roughing out the plot while walking among the wildflowers, and by golly, I think I will.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch counseled wisdom and patience in releasing a book, cautioning against making promises and then breaking them. Don’t announce the book until it’s done and ready to go out. Never disappoint your readers.
Dean Wesley Smith and M. L. Buchman discussed the differences between organized, structured writing styles and more organic, freeform types of writing. While individual writing methods span the spectrum, the point is to use what works for you and make no excuses.
There was a panel on health and taking care of yourself, the critical importance of proper ergonomics.
Kris gave us a presentation on how to negotiate Hollywood contracts.
Joanna Penn gave us an insider view of her marketing plan and the secrets of her success. She is amazing, and so generous in sharing what she learns to help others. I really admire her positive mind-set of abundance.
There was a session on the viability and upcoming opportunities in audio production.
Aw heck! As I peruse my notes, I realize I can’t even begin to touch on the massive amount of valuable information and connections I mined from the week.
Here are a couple of my favorite moments:
A taco lunch with Joanna Penn
A walk on the beach with Rebecca Cantrell
A crazy spaghetti dinner and tour of a very interesting event center with a whole group of talented writers
Late night chats at the Anchor
Lots of laughs and lots of learning. These are fun and informative folks.
I am so pleased that my experiences of the past several years brought my path to intersect with this group at just the right moment in my writing life.
If I’d attended this Master Class a year ago, I would have drowned like a bug under a fire hose. I have been immensely blessed, and though 2017 will go down in the record as one of my most difficult and painful years, a tremendous amount of good has come out of it.
It is my goal to pass on the value to my readers and fans. To transform what I’m learning into stories and articles that will thrill, entertain, and inspire you.