My fellow 24 Carrot Writing bloggers and I just returned from the SCBWI New England spring conference. Having seen each other all weekend, we were tempted to postpone our monthly goal-setting meeting scheduled for the next morning. But knowing re-entry to regular schedules can be tricky after a jam-packed weekend, we kept our monthly appointment. We convened over a cuppa, and Kelly had the brilliant idea to list our top three takeaways from the conference.
If you recently attended this conference, a long workshop, or a webinar geared toward your writing and illustrating life, this exercise is invaluable. It might take weeks—and possible months—to employ all the new tricks and tips discovered at the conference and even longer to practice and hone all the new skills learned. But what are three new goals you can enact today to get an immediate bounce from the conference? Kelly calls these your do-it-today takeaways!
- Are you feeling the need to read more in your genre? Start a reading journal (paper or electronic).
- Do you want to feel more “socially” connected? Keep those face-to-face conversations going through social media or commit to following ten new agents and editors on Twitter.
- Are you missing time at your local indie bookstore? Block off an afternoon to browse the store or mark your calendar to attend book events by fellow SCBWI members.
- Did you have a critique of a manuscript or query letter? Sit down and mine the written feedback and notes for revision ideas.
- Were you impressed by a pitch contest? Start your own pitch ring (see Kelly’s how-to blog)
- Have you put off joining a critique group? Contact Stacy Mozer at SCBWI New England (firstname.lastname@example.org) to make it happen.
- Were you inspired by an open mic reading? Mark your to-do list for next year to prepare your own selection to read aloud.
So instead of stuffing your notes into a drawer, comb through them! Glean nuggets of advice that will help you strengthen your writing. Capitalize on the energy and optimism you bring back from meeting with colleagues and peers. It’s easy to slip back into former routines if we wait too long to take stock. So don’t wait! Capture those do-it-today ideas now!