Was chuffed to receive my very own copy of The Chhese Mall by Bernie Tracey, which I had the honour of editing. http://ow.ly/8IrOH
That’s the name I’ve given to the new half-day creative writing workshops I’ve just started. If you’ve always wanted to write, but don’t know where to begin, they’re the jump start you’ll need. In just three hours, you’ll have written your own story, a story created entirely through the wonders of your own imagination, a story you can call your own.
You might be saying to yourself, ‘How can I write a story? I’ve never written anything before.’ But everyone has a story locked inside of them. It may have been beaten out of you, by school, by well-meaning family and friends, or by life itself. And this workshop will help you tap into that story and bring it into life, whether you want to weave a fictional tale or share an event from your own life that has moved or inspired you.
So how does the magic happen? Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect.
Breaking the Ice: For the first hour or so, you’ll get into the writing mood with activities designed to awaken the senses and the imagination. You’ll be playing with words, creating wacky images and discovering how much material there is for stories in one ordinary day of living.
The Three Ingredients: After a well-earned tea or coffee, with a sugar hit if required, you’ll learn about the three ingredients that go into all good stories: plot, character and setting. You’ll be doing fun exerecises that will help you come up with the plot, character and setting for your own stories.
Structuring the Story: Once you have your ingredients, it’s time to plan and write your story. I’ll give you some hints on structure and then you’re on your own. You’ll find a way to combine the ingredients you’ve gathered and weave them into a three-paragraph story, with a solid beginning, middle and end.
Sharing the Story: This is the part people most often dread, but in fact, it’s a celebration of your creativity. You’ll be reading your story in front of a warm, supportive crowd and will bask in the wellbeing of knowing that you have created a completely original piece of work.
I’m happy to run these workshops with any group, whether they’re beginners or people who have been writing for a while and are a bit stuck for inspiration. If you have any enquiries, contact email@example.com
My first workshop will be in Waterford on Saturday February 11th and here’s a flavour of what you can expect.
Last week, you heard about the new WriteWords vision for 2012: to help people tell their stories. To support that goal, we’ve come up with new services to help writers and community groups tap into the power of words. These services are intended to increase people’s confidence and to help them spread the ord among their intended audience.
Two are for writers, two are for community groups. Here’s the lowdown.
A Space for Writing
Have you got a book in mind, but can’t get your thoughts together? Would you like to do a creative writing course, but haven’t got the time to commit? Our one to one consultancy service gives you the space you need to develop your ideas and improve your writing.
Prepare to Publish
Hiring an editor can be costly, but our Prepare to Publish service helps you avail of top quality editorial advice without breaking the bank. We will edit and evaluate your first three chapters, your synopsis and your covering letter and give you our honest verdict on whether they’re suitable for publishing. If your book is at an earlier stage, we will edit your first three chapters and give you advice on how to move your story forward.
For Community Groups
Public speaking is more feared than spiders or death. Our communications workshops help to break down the fear barrier: our fun games make it easy for people to speak in front of a crowd. This gives a huge confidence boost to people and helps them to feel that they have a voice.
Social Media Campaigns
With limited funds, it can be hard for community groups to make their voices heard. Social media enables you to communicate your message for free, to the people who most need to hear it. We will provide you with interesting, relevant posts for Facebook and Twitter and advice on how to spread the word.
We may have introduced new services, but creating content is still at the core of what we do. That’s why we’re continuing to offer blog entries, web content, press releases and editing services. To find out about our new and existing services, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve been to lots of networking events in the three years since I set up WriteWords, my copywriting service. And I’ve come to identify an unspoken question in the minds of the people I meet. What can a writer do for me? Don’t they sit in ivory towers, churning out masterpieces?
Here’s my answer. I can help you find the right words to achieve your goals.
Here’s how it breaks down. Whether we realise it or not, everyone has a story. And I help people tap into the power of their story. Our stories make us who we are. Because they come straight from our hearts, they have great emotional resonance. And because they’re our own stories, they help us to stand out in an increasingly noisy world.
The trouble is, you’re too close to your own story to see that power. So I help people to figure out what their story is? Why would you want or need to do this? After all, everyone pays more attention to pictures than words? But you still need to know what to say.
If you know what to say, you can say it consistently, in all your communications. This will help the people you want to reach get the message. And because not many people take the time to do this, you’ll have the edge when you’re persuading other people to buy your book, use your services or donate to your charity.
We’re living in an increasingly noisy world, with a lot of different media clamouring for our attention. Whether we like it or not, if we want to be heard, we have to sell ourselves. And telling your story is a great way to sell yourself. Because you’re sharing your experience, your passion and your knowledge, you don’t feel like you’re selling at all. And because you’re making a real emotional connection with the person you’re talking to, they don’t feel like they’re being sold to.
There are three groups of people who would particularly benefit from defining and refining their story.
Small and medium enterprises: As a business owner, your first priority is to grow your business. And words can help you achieve that goal. Words are your secret weapon in marketing your business. If you take the time to define your message, you’ll have the edge over your competitors. This isn’t just pie-in-the-sky stuff. You can actually measure the impact of your words using Google Analytics and other analytics tools supplied by WordPress, Facebook etc.
Writers and Artists: Artistic people struggle with the concept of selling themselves. But how are people going to know about the wonderful work you’re doing unless you tell them? All you have to do is let them know about what you do, through tools like social media, blogs and traditional media. If you’re a writer looking to be published, it helps to be able to get to the heart of your story, so you can persuade publishers of its merits.
Charities and Community Groups: These groups are lucky. They have a treasure trove of powerful stories at their disposal. They can tap into the life changing experiences of their members and beneficiaries to get their message across. People will be drawn by these uplifting stories and be encouraged to dip into their pockets, or to avail of the services the offer.
Next week, I’ll be outlining the services I use to help you tell your story. If you’d like to find out how I can help you, drop me a mail, email@example.com.