An Evening with Superman

While my blogging has been hit-and-miss lately, my writing has not. (Yay!) Nor has my venturing out into the world, attending writing-related events. One recent event was a workshop led by the ever-entertaining and inspiring James A. Owen.

(If you’re familiar with James’ story, you understand the Superman reference. If you’re not familiar with his story, I encourage you to read it. It’s compelling.)

The workshop was titled “Writing for Young Adults”, but a more fitting title might have been “How to Become the Creative You Always Knew You Were”. The evening was full of funny and poignant anecdotes that I’m certain left every attendee raring to get back to writing. My hand cramped up from taking so many notes. And beside many of them, I drew little asterisks. Those were the lightbulb/goosebumps moments.

Because this was a paid workshop, I’m not going to post all of the notes here. That just doesn’t seem right. But I do want to share a couple of gems with you in hopes of propagating those lightbulbs and goosebumps.

There are 7 billion people on the planet. If you have a modicum of talent and the ambition, there will be an audience for your work.

The power of the story compels a reader to read, regardless of the beauty of the writing (or the lack thereof). Write for the story moments that keep readers coming back for more.

Your publishing career is based on relationships, not sales. 

Be sure you really love writing. You need to enjoy it during the good times and the bad. If you don’t love it, it’s not worth it.

Be willing to listen to counsel, but also be willing to stick to your guns.

Don’t compare yourself to others. You’ll drive yourself mad. If you compare yourself to your own goals, as long as you’re moving forward, you’ll always win.

Have a healthy attitude of pride about the work you do.

If you like what you read here and you’d like more, check out James’ book, Drawing Out the Dragons. Like the workshop, this book is full of bits of wisdom and inspiration. Keeping this book at hand is like having James sitting there with you while you work, telling you that you can do this, that you are good enough and to keep going when you run into difficulties. Like the workshop, definitely money well spent.