by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2
Lori Hatcher is a blogger, women’s ministry speaker, and the author of the Christian Small Publisher’s Book of the Year, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, Five-Minute Devotions for Busy Women. A Toastmasters International contest-winning speaker, Lori’s goal is to help busy women connect with God in the craziness of everyday life. She especially loves small children, furry animals, and chocolate. You’ll find her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Hungry for God. . . Starving for Time . Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter (@lorihatcher2) or Pinterest (Hungry for God).
If you’re a serious writer, you know the value of attending writers conferences. The combination of training, networking, and inspiration is like gasoline on a campfire for a writer’s career. Last month God blessed me with the opportunity to attend one of my favorite conferences, the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference.
For four days I attended classes, met conferees, and brainstormed with industry professionals. Now that I’ve come down from the mountain, it’s time to get to work. The time and money I spent will do me no good if I don’t apply what I’ve learned.
Maybe you haven’t had the opportunity to attend a conference this year. Or perhaps you have, but are struggling to implement what you heard. As I wrote my To Do list, I thought it might be helpful if I shared it with you.
My Post Conference To Do List:
- Experiment with the idea of writing in 45-minute time blocks with 15-minute breaks in between. Michele Cox, author of Just 18 Summers, writes in 25-minute blocks with 5-minute breaks. She says it’s the single greatest step she’s taken recently to increase her productivity.
- During these time blocks, concentrate only on the task at hand. Minimize distractions and set myself up to work uninterrupted by putting my cell phone in another room and closing all web pages and email programs that could disturb my concentration.
- Share more personal glimpses into my life on my Hungry for God Facebook page. Hartline Literary agent Diana Flegel reminded me that my readers want to connect with me as a person, not just as a faceless ministry entity.
- Schedule regular Goodreads giveaways for my devotional book, Hungry for God … Starving for Time. Diana said her clients usually experience a spike in books sales when they offer Goodreads giveaways. (If you’d like a chance to win a copy of my book, Hungry for God … Starving for Time on Goodreads, click here.)
- As author/editor James Watkins advised, determine when my most creative time of the day is (early mornings) and use that time exclusively for writing. Save tedious, boring, or mindless tasks (administration, financial, social media scheduling) for other times.
- Plan regular meetings with other authors to brainstorm new ideas, titles, and concepts.
- Write with a specific reader in mind. Fellow author and my Rhode Island sister Lori Roeleveld has even named her intended reader. Bottom line—know to whom I’m writing.
- Explore Unsplash, a new (for me) website for royalty-free photos to use in my blog posts.
- Put extra effort into crafting compelling titles. Baker Publishing editor Vicki Crumpton’s wise words are ringing in my ears—“If you don’t hook ‘em with a catchy title, they’ll never read on.”
- Start saving for next year’s conference. There’s no better investment than a writers’ conference to move me forward on me writing journey.
As you can see, I’ve got my work cut out for me. And now, by sharing my goals with you, I’ve accomplished item number 11 on my list, Ask someone to hold you accountable.
Now it’s your turn. Have you attended a conference and come away with new goals? Or maybe you’ve brainstormed a few on your own. Join the conversation by sharing them in the comment section.