How to Make the Most of Writing and Blogging Conferences

Are you feeling burned out on writing and blogging conferences?

I’m not! And here’s why — this past weekend I had the opportunity to speak at and attend the Southern Christian Writers Conference for the first time and it was amazing! I left with a notebook full of useful information and feeling incredibly inspired. I made new friends, too!

But let’s be honest — sometimes attending writing and blogging conferences can be a waste of money and time. And if you’ve had this experience it may be because the conference was poorly planned and highly disorganized, or perhaps it featured subpar presenters.

However, here’s a hard truth — most of the time when we don’t get anything out of writing or blogging conferences it’s our own fault. Most of the time we were the ones who failed to plan and get organized.

My friend Randi Pink, author of the young adult novel Into White and the forthcoming novel Girls Like Us, calls herself a “conference-a-holic” and with good reason. She proudly proclaims that it’s because of the conferences held by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators that she is published today. (SCBWI’s 48th Annual Summer Conference will be held in Los Angeles, August 9-12. Learn more here.)

I’ve been attending writing and blogging conferences for years and I’ve learned that how much I get out of a conference has more to do with me than the conference itself. To make the most of writing and blogging conferences you must ask yourself important questions before you even step foot in the venue.


Magic City Poetry Festival 2019 starts April 4

Get your own Magic City Poetry Festival t-shirt at any of this year’s event.

Since last year’s inaugural Magic City Poetry Festival founder Ashley M. Jones has been busy. She’s been busy publishing her second book, dark / / thing, which she describes as “a book that can’t sit silently.”

Ashley, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award recipient who also won the silver medal in poetry in the 2017 Independent Publishers Book Awards for her debut collection Magic City Gospel, has also been busy planning this year’s Magic City Poetry Festival.

The 2019 festival will kick off April 4 and host events throughout the month including a reading by poetry legend and Birmingham native Sonia Sanchez!

Ashley started the Magic City Poetry Festival to help showcase the talent of Birmingham-based poets and to expose more people to the power of poetry. See Jane Write had a chat with Ashley recently to discuss how this year’s festival will do just that.


How to Make Time to Write and Blog

When it comes to the question of how to make time to write and blog I’ve realized I’ve been too easy on you.

Until now, I’ve simply challenged you to write every day, even if it’s just one page or even just one line. And I still think that’s a fine way to start your writing or blogging journey. But eventually the time comes when we have to put our big girl panties on and do more.

That time is now.


How Writing Challenges Can Boost Your Writing Confidence, Commitment, and Creativity

April 8-28 See Jane Write will host a FREE 21-day writing challenge that I’m calling The Write Start. I believe it is my calling to help women writers and bloggers take the first step they need to take to get to the level they want to reach. The challenge is designed to help women develop a daily writing ritual and build the confidence, commitment, and creativity they need to get serious about writing, blogging or building a platform.

You can sign up at bit.ly/thewritestartchallenge.

Here’s how the challenge will work: Each morning you’ll receive an email from me that will contain a brief lesson and a writing prompt. The Write Start challenge also includes weekly live virtual group coaching sessions, one virtual write-in, and one virtual critique session.

The challenge will get you writing every day for 21 days in hopes of making daily writing a habit.

But you may be straining your eye-rolling muscles right now. You may be thinking, “Not another writing challenge! Aren’t writing challenges just a waste of time? Aren’t they just busy work?”

Obviously, I don’t think so, but you don’t have to just take my word for it. I recently asked the women of the See Jane Write Network Facebook group if any of them had good experiences with writing challenges that they’d be willing to share. The response I got was overwhelming.