Saturday, January 31, 2015

Listen to a Webinar on a Snowy Day

As I rewrite my novel during these winter days, I am tempted by so many wonderful opportunities to learn. Not always about my novel, but by the information I can gleam from free webinars. One day last week I could have listened to three, each an hour long, although I chose to pass on one.

Even though some webinars end up being a sales pitch, I learn something from most of them and I don’t have to buy anything. I have, on occasion, purchased some great resources, and I have bought a few things I wish I hadn’t. But, overall, I find them to be a great source of information. Usually those giving the webinars do require you to subscribe to their email list, but you can always unsubscribe later.

If you wonder where you can find free webinars, look at the organizations of which you are a member. I belong to ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and they usually host one monthly. I started listening to various webinars by subscribing to many blogs. If you do this, it won’t be long until you will have ample opportunities. I also belong to some sites, where I do pay a monthly membership and they have weekly or monthly webinars. They also record all of them, so I can listen at my at my leisure.

How about you?
Do you take advantage of webinars?
If not, what other forms of continuing education do you use?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A New Year Writing Challenge

A new year brings challenges. Some come along without warning, and some we seek out. A challenge I signed up for is to attend an intensive week-long writers retreat. In about a month I will fly from Chicago to Florida to attend the Deep Thinker's Retreat, sponsored by My Book Therapy, of which I am a member. This is for fiction writers who have finished, at least, their first manuscript and want to take it to the next level.

Yesterday, I received my manuscript checklist, schedule and personal survey I am to complete, before I arrive. This for me will be a retreat that will indeed stretch me.

This is how I plan to prepare:

Pray. I plan to commit my time and efforts to God, so I will be directed as to where to concentrate my work.

Focus. I find this difficult. I think many of us, especially women, are multitaskers, and we find ourselves naturally, doing many things at one time. I also find many of the things I do are not that essential. Note one of the books I reviewed last time, Essentialism, The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. So this will be a challenge.

Organize. I am working on my schedule now, and realize I’m not very good at dividing tasks. But, I will do my best and then probably revamp.

How about you?

Do you plan to attend a 
conference to improve your writing?

What are your plans and how are you preparing?


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Reading My Way Into a New Year

Happy New Year!

I am beginning 2015 by reading two books that I believe will help me have a more productive and satisfying year.

Essentialism, The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.  I learned about this book during a Michael Hyatt podcast ( The premise of the book is to determine what is “essential” in our lives. This may mean choosing to not do some good things, deemed "nonessential," so we can do the "essential" and accomplish the more important things. I have not finished the book, but it provides some challenging reading.

The Best Yes, Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands by Lysa Terkeurst. This is the first book I have read by Terkeurst, also the author of the popular, Unglued and Made to Crave. I am in the midst of reading this book and find it challenging, as well. She explores the area of choices and how she believes we have three options: "Yes," "No," and the "Best Yes." 

Although both books may appear to have a similar message, so far, I believe Essentialism is geared more toward our business and professional lives and The Best Yes leans more in the direction of our personal. I also find because one is written by a man and the other by a woman, they have a little different tone, but I am gleaning from each one.

How about you? 
Are you reading a book 
to help you have a great 2015?