The Saskatchewan Writer’s Guild held it’s annual conference in mid-October and, as always, there was a lot to take in and a lot to learn. While I can’t possibly share everything, I do want to highlight some of the more memorable lessons I took away from each presentation I attended.
Keeping it Fresh: Survival Tactics
- As writers, writing is a part of who we are. This means you have to believe in yourself and think of yourself as a real writer, no matter where you may be in relation to being published.
- We need the support of other people, especially other writers. This likely means finding a trusted group or community you can be a part of.
- Go on with a project, even if it means trying it in different forms (for example, as a play as opposed to a novel). Sometimes persevering means compromising.
- Know yourself well enough to know what you need. This translates to a lot of things. Examples include learning whether it’s better for you to meet with a writing group once a week or once a month, and finding the self-care methods that work best for you.
- Remember and be thankful for the things you’ve accomplished.
The Reclamation Project: In Conversation with Louise Halfe
- Read, read read.
- Research and explore. Give yourself the permission of non-judgmental expression.
- Don’t argue with your muse, or her pace. For example, if she wants to write the story slowly, don’t try to rush it.
How to Succeed as a Nonfiction Writer
- Find stories by getting to know your community. Be engaged with the world.
- Know what you’re good at and focus on it. That doesn’t mean, though, that you shouldn’t keep learning new things.
- Trust your instincts, your education, and your experience.
- Remember why you became a writer–don’t let it become a chore.
Art that Saves Lives and its Residue
- A story can leave a mark on a reader, but it also leaves its mark on the writer.
- Art that is honest has integrity and the power to keep us going through/bring us out of hard times.
- Art can give the artist purpose and some, even if it’s small, power over their situation.
- You have no control over what your art does/the effect that it has once it’s out in the world.
Q & A with an Author
- When you’re stuck, look for another part to work on. That could provide new perspective when you return to the section you had trouble with.
- A love for learning is an important part of writing.
- Everyone has something to share, be it a story, wisdom, etc.