I recently attended this wonderful writer’s conference in LA. Rick Frishman, a legendary PR man has created this semi-annual opportunity for writers to learn how to get a book successfully published, marketed and sold. I highly recommend attending if you’re even thinking of writing a book.
During each conference, experts speak on topics such as social media marketing, radio and TV publicity, and how to sell your book on the Internet. It’s all fascinating and useful information and for the most part the writers are empowered and inspired. There is also a seminar on public speaking, and how to write a book proposal.
For me, the best part is the panels which are comprised of agents, publishers and the odd writing coach (that would be me) where the discussions center on the actual content of the books — especially the nuts and bolts of how to create and present your work to a prospective agent or publisher.
My job as a panelist seems to be to bring the actual writing part of the process into the equation and I try to offer help from that perspective.
Many writers, whether they are writing fiction, a how-to book or a screenplay are always confronted with the same deep challenges beyond the obvious problems of finding the time to write and a commercially viable topic. These challenges include overcoming self-doubt, and understanding the structure of the story they are trying to tell.
Overcoming self-doubt is a long process involving self-acceptance. With this self-acceptance comes the realization that the writer is, in fact, doing what he or she set out to do, in spite of this lack of self-trust. This is the only way to evolve into a peaceful state of mind that allows maximum creativity.
The understanding of structure is one of the main reasons that I created my writing system. While there are many ways to study structure, the easiest is to find a book or film that you admire and is similar in style to what you are trying to write. Read and outline the story. Now try and outline your story to fit the outline of the book or movie you have chosen. Following this method will often provide sudden insights that allow you to make strong choices. We write easily when we know what and why we are writing.
What I learned from Author101University is that ultimately, no matter how skillful the marketing, a writer has to write something, and write it well.