January 2017: But What Comes Next?: ORWA’s Brainstorming Workshop

By Jennifer Carole Lewis

All writers have had the horrible experience of staring at a blank page and wondering: what comes next?  For our January 2017 workshop, ORWA authors got together to help answer that question for one another.  Sitting close at a table, we brainstormed ideas for a suspense-filled escape through isolated woods and for a reunion romance on a tropical island.  We talked about titles, promotion strategies, and our own tricks for overcoming writer’s block.

Our President shared some of her favourite craft books: Break Into Fiction: 11 Steps to Building A Story that Sells by Mary Buckham and Dianna Love, Believable Characters: Creating With Enneagrams by Laurie Schnebly, Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass, and The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi.  They included a number of useful ideas and exercises to help overcome any lack of inspiration.

It was casual and intimate, allowing everyone a turn to share their experiences and ideas.  We talked about the importance of keeping motivated.  About how easy it is to put everyone else’s priorities first and let writing slip to the bottom of the priority pile.  But coming to the monthly ORWA meeting gives us the encouragement to keep going and get ourselves back to the keyboard.  We can share the disappointments, the triumphs and the day-to-day roller coaster of confidence.  Although we all came in quietly, notebooks and pens in hand, we left animated, talking, laughing and sharing.  We were renewed and rejuvenated, and ready to get back to work.

For next month’s ORWA meeting, we’ll be looking at taxes and managing finances as an author.  If you’ve ever wondered what you’re allowed to deduct or what receipts you should be keeping, this is the workshop for you.  Join us on Sunday, February 5th from 2:30 to 4:30 at Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, in room 1A, opposite the Centrepointe Library.  Guests: $20.  ORWA members: free!