Monday, March 17, 2008

Tell Your Story

I've been asked to be on faculty for Write!Canada. I'm teaching a workshop in using your strengths to become the writer you were meant to be.

I've been working on material for the workshop (how weird is it that I had to acquire publisher permission to use materials from a book I wrote? I had to laugh when it hit me that the tools I had actually invented - developed on my own, were not mine to use as I willed) and aside from a few funny stories (real life stories. My life has been one long "funny story"), the heart of the workshop is going to be how to find your true voice as an author.

The workshop isn't just for fiction writers. In fact, I'm feeling a bit of a fraud on this blog sometimes as my major publication is in non-fiction (through Beacon Hill Press - the book [working title: Living Out of Your Strengths] is due to hit the shelves March 1, 2009). But, I've had some fiction success as well, with two short stories appearing in two separate anthologies this spring and summer. (check out for details about the first of these two books). Anyway, back to my point:

I've discovered, in this journey toward becoming an author, that there is one thing, one unshakable factor that determines an author's ultimate success: the ability to remain un-distracted from her goal.

Which leads to the question: What is your goal in the first place?

The 75 minute workshop I'm offering at Write!Canada (a conference put on by The Word Guild, held in Guelph, ON) will teach writers how to find his or her strengths, then use them to discover their true writing goals. From there, I'll show people how to apply their strengths to their true goals.

To be the best writer you can be means not getting distracted by everything that's coming down the turnpike at you. It's knowing what to say "yes" to and when to say "no". It's drawing clear goals so that when an opportunity presents itself you can evaluate it based on how well it fits with your true goals, rather than grasping at straws hoping that something will pay off, but not being able to tell for certain if it has any merit for you or not.

Great writers tell the stories they are passionate about. Stories they love. Stories they would pay to read.

They tell their true story.

Ask yourself: What's my story?

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