This is a candid snapshot of me teaching a workshop at our Kansas Authors State Convention last month. I must have been listening to an attendee's comment or question as my mouth is not going a mile a minute as is often the case.
The topic I spoke on was The Basics of Writing. The program booklet suggested it was for new writers and a review for more seasoned writers. We covered a lot of ground in the slightly less than an hour's time allotted.
One thing I noted was the absolute attention those who attended gave to me, the speaker. I hope they each took away some information that will help their writing and allow them to grow as writers.
There were questions and comments at each of the two sessions I taught. It was obvious that these people had come to learn. They weren't there passing the time until the social hour began. I would give a gold star to each one for pursuing growth in their writing.
The one thing we writers do not want to do is to find a slot we're comfortable in and stay there--even if you feel happy in that spot. In each workshop, I emphasized the importance of growing as a writer and that we should never cease seeking that growth. One woman stopped me the next day and said, The best thing you said yesterday is to never stop learning.
I don't think we ever reach a stage where we know it all. Even those who have written for years and years can benefit from new methods that come along. If a writer has the attitude that my way is just fine and I don't need to try new things, they may rue that attitude.
One of the reasons I attend conferences is to find out what the new trends are. I want to know what has changed in the publishing industry that will affect my style of writing. I look for the genres that are the hottest in the market. Does my writing fit there? Or am I way off in another land? What attitude changes should I make?
A topic at my online writers' conference about three years ago was Branding. When I saw it on the program, I must have had a big question mark on my face but by the time Mary Bower finished her presentation, I had a pretty good idea of this newer term. At the workshop I recently taught, I asked how many knew what branding was. Only two raised their hands in each session. If you are unawaare of all it involves, I suggest googling using the keywords branding for writers. You'll have a wealth of articles to read to help you understand what it is and how to achieve it.
Keep learning your craft. Keep up with the tools we use as writers. Keep up with trends in our industry. Don't ever stop learning!