Inspired to write

What do you get when you combine a local columnist, a retired reporter, a well-established jazz blogger/copy editor and a novice mommy blogger? A writer’s group and no loss for words!

I had the incredible pleasure to be the novice mommy blogger in this group of seemingly normal people with pasts that blew me away. I was in hog heaven. I was able to get valuable advice for the storyteller essays I have begun writing for a site called Story of My Life.com.

Here is a story I wrote about a childhood experience of a previous co-worker who was backstage at the 1964 World’s Fair. Friday night I spent an hour interviewing a woman researching slave genealogy. I am hoping her story will be up by the end of the week.

 A couple of things our group discussed involved interviews and other writing elements such as:

1. Use a recorder and have a back up.

2. When on the phone, use the speaker phone with the recorder.

3. If you don’t have these devices, shorthand still works.

4. Writing narrative after an interview is harder than Q & A but of course, very doable.

5. Use life’s anecdotes to research and create whole new articles.

6. When submitting, make sure you have rewrite or first rights.
    * rewrite rights allow you use the same material in another way.
    * first rights mean the publication prints the material the first time and you are allowed to submit the material as a reprint to other sources.
    * all rights (NOT a good option) means you can never use the material again. The publication owns every part of the piece to reprint, reproduce, harvest, etc.

7. You are not wasting your time getting an English degree in college even if everyone around you keeps asking what you will do with it.

What this group taught me more than anything was that if you want to be inspired in your writing, go to where the experienced writers are and make friends, which is true of the blogging world and really any industry where you want to improve. SheSpeaks writer’s/speakers conference was another wonderful place to be inspired but this group was free and local which fits my budget quite nicely!

PS. Did you know that my spell check has yet to accept the word “blogger”? Shouldn’t that be in our dictionaries by now? I mean, hello smart dictionary people!

Comments

  1. Enjoyed your comments. I have written several short stories for my blog in the past & a few chapters of my Mother’s life (Fiction based upon fact). I will be looking for “Real Writers” to gleam from.

  2. Oh what a neat opportunity! And I was just writing yesterday and my Word kept trying to change “blog” to BLOB. Yeah- something like that!

    Steph

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