They say that many people prefer to face the thought of death to the thought of having to give a speech. As I enjoy the sound of my own voice and the idea that people are forced to listen to me, I am one of the lucky few who likes to get up in front of a group and talk. Saturday is that opportunity. Question is, can I really help people write more in less time? It’s a challenge.
First, you should know that, as an engineer and Detroit industrialist in the auto heyday of the 1960’s, my dad was focused on processes and efficiencies. As a result, our whole family works hard (or rather, I should say plays hard) at being organized. I’m not sure if we achieve this, as relatives have been known to be forgotten at airports, and have accused each other of not sending important messages along, but we take pride in our own quirky sense of getting the job done, and doing it right. Plus I think every one of us has bought and regularly uses a labeling machine–you should see our Christmas presents!
I also remember, as a kid, playing the “timer game.” My sister Linda was the mastermind behind this. As we would clear the table and do the dishes for a family of ten, she’d “bet” us we could do some small task before the timer on the kitchen oven went off. Was I proud when I beat that clock!
So how can I translate playing with time into an entertaining and educational workshop this weekend?
Beyond crossing my fingers and whispering “I think I can” while little blue train engines run through my mind, I’ve been working on and off since January on coming up with a good outline and thoughts to pass along. I’ve read several books–not hard when the subject is so much fun for me–and pulled together all sorts of information.
Add to that, I “tested” one of the tips–have a deadline–by promising myself that I’d complete the first draft of Sliced Vegetarian by June 5th. Oops! That’s today.
It’s all right. I completed that draft this last weekend. Happy feet dancing.
Here’s what I’m planning to cover on Saturday:
First hour: Building Writer Confidence
Sounds weird, right? What does being “confident” do for writing efficiency? Turns out, a lot. Just as with anything you do, if you have the confidence to know how it’s done, you complete the task faster and better. The challenge for writers is that each project can feel like you’re doing something totally new, and there are no systems for doing the work faster. Well, I believe that writers can work on writing confidence by focusing on a few key skills and employing some good tools. Hint: one of the tools involves time keeping.
I also hope to share some writing prompts in the form of exercises on speech day. These are not “creative” in the tell-me-a-story sense, but pragmatic list making that will help my audience build their own unique writer’s image and plan. Pretty cool, huh?
Hour Two (yep, they’re giving me two hours–brave souls): Writers’ Time Management
In the second part of my workshop, I’ll focus on time-saving and time-making. So many people (myself included) have thought of “writing” as the actual butt-in-chair and hope for a muse to take pity on you kind of activity. I hope to help people see that in two-minutes, five-minutes and larger chunks of time you can accomplish a lot, even if some of that effort doesn’t actually end up on your printed page. You just have to be like the scouts and “be prepared” for opportunity, and know how to use it.
So, if you’re in the Lakewood Colorado area on Saturday afternoon, and have the luxury of two hours free, won’t you join me? Here’s the information you need:
Talk: Write More In Less Time: The Procrastinator’s Guide to Writing Success
Place: Belmar Public Library
555 S. Allison Parkway,
Lakewood, CO 80226
Date: Saturday. June 8, 2013
Time: 1:00 – 3:00