Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Catching up with the Bayou Writers!!!

Dear Bayou Writers,

I’m very excited to get back to our BWC Blog Posts! There have been so many requests, from members that can’t make each meeting in person and this is a great way to give follow up information about our meetings, speakers and all things concerning writing in our community!

The kick-off to our writing year has been strong! Our first meeting was packed full of useful information to help our members find their writing focus for 2018.

Writing Contracts
Have you heard of our writing contracts? These are contracts that you make with yourself and can be considered a roadmap to help guide you to your writing goals! The contract is made even more awesome if you share it with your writing partner(s).

Writing Partners
Have you heard about our accountability partner program or as we like to call it, writing partners? This is where you and one or more BWC members work on your writing together. Your partner(s) will follow up with you outside of the meetings, either in person, by phone or even by email. Many of our members credit this for helping them finish their writing projects, journals, articles, novels and even helping them get published! Yes, the program is that great!!!
*** It’s not too late for you to fill out a writing contract. If you would like a copy, message me. It is never too late to find a writing partner either! Come to our next meeting and we’ll help you find someone!

New Orleans Writer’s Workshop (NOWW)
Helping each other with our craft is at the top of our wish list as a group and it was only fitting that we had instructors, Allison Alsup and Jessica Kinnison from The New Orleans Writer’s Workshop (NOWW) come in and introduce their upcoming programs and some mini-workshop ideas! They are AWESOME!

Allison gave us a crash lesson offering Strategies for Revision:
1.       Accountability Partners- Chat about the work and beta read for each other to see how the message comes across and potentially works (the BWC loves this, of course.)
2.       Brainstorm- Do you know what your writing (novel, journal, article, poem) is about? Try this exercise: Write the back-cover copy (what would be written) for your work.
3.       Change up the Beginning- Force yourself to try this... it gives you permission to change things up.
4.       Discipline- Be willing to do multiple drafts.
5.       Line edits don’t count as a revision. Revisions must be something fundamental in your work.
6.       Stop being the writer and start being the editor. Your novel (or story) should have a Theme, Characters, Conflict, and Stakes
7.       Work from Hard Copy. Change things up and look at it printed instead of on your computer screen.
8.       Realistic Deadlines. You cannot compare yourself or your work to others. Full-time jobs, Family or other external obligations may keep you from reaching your goal in the short term. The idea is to reach your goal in the right amount of time for you!

Several BWC members have taken writing courses through the Loyola Writing Institute (where many of the NOWW instructors began) and then through NOWW! We love them and I highly endorse their programs. You can get testimonials from some of our members at a meeting but also find out more information about them here: 
***Look for an announcement very soon regarding a North Shore weekend workshop (Saturday and Sunday) on Scene Building in either March or May.  Whoop-Whoop!

Additional topics/presentations for January have been Developing Great Writing Habits, Ways to be Inspired and Getting Motivated; Overcoming Writer’s Block. Internet research (one of my fav.’s) and personal testimonials from fellow writers helped shape this discussion.

Great Writing Habits
1.       Establish a writing schedule and write daily. Fifteen-twenty minutes a day is better than a marathon writing once or twice a month.
2.       Read. This can be the genre you write but also any and all other genres too. It is extremely obvious if a writer is not well-read.
3.       Finish your work. It’s easy to get distracted with new projects but it’s a terrible habit to abandon something because it isn’t shiny and new anymore.
4.       Share your finished work. Find beta-readers or writing partners that can help you improve it.
5.       Know your craft and industry. Workshops, conferences, reading like a writer, writer’s groups can all help you polish your writing as well as understand the business of writing.

5 Ways to Get Inspired
1.       Take Pictures. Walk around your neighborhood or city and take pics. As writers, we are always observing and this will help you switch things up and possibly see them differently.
2.       Travel. You don’t have to go far. Jump in the car and go to the next town over and explore. Getting you out of your comfort zone can help wake up your sense. (This is one of my favorites…I like to go to different coffee shops and pick two or more people out and make up dialogue for them!)
3.       Have a writer date. Being around other artists is always inspirational. It’s one of the reasons the BWC has been so successful! Meet for coffee or tea and talk shop!
4.       Switch up your art. Many of my writer friends are talented musicians, painters, and photographers. Try something new, at the very least it will be fun. You can always invite a writer friend to one of those Cork and Canvas or Painting with a Twist places- two birds one stone!
5.       GO to a reading, a play or even a movie. It’s exciting to see the finished work of an author and can help motivate you and your own projects.

How to Overcome Writer’s Block
1.       Go for a walk
2.       Eliminate distractions
3.       Change your Environment
4.       Read a Book
5.       Freewrite
6.       Listen to music
7.       Brew some coffee
8.       Create a writing routine
9.       Brainstorm ideas in bullet points
10.   Read inspiring quotes to get you started.
***Additional information was used from writers, Melissa Donovan at, Writers Digest at, Jeff Goins at, and the BWC.

Become the Writer You Want to Be in 2018!
I hope this blog has caught you up with the group and that you’re more inspired than ever to write your own book, blog, article, screenplay or poem and perhaps even attend a meeting. It is the single best thing that I have ever done for my writing self (and myself overall) because meeting with a room full of creative writers and talking shop for a couple of hours motivates me more than anything else.
You can come check us out at

Save the dates for our next meetings:
·       Feb. 1st (Write-In)
·       Feb 17th (writing workshop-full)
·       Feb 22nd (Reg. Meeting)
·       March 1st (Reg. Meeting)
·       March 22nd or 29th (Reading Event @ The English Tea Room)

Until then, Happy Writing!


1 comment:

  1. It's nice to read another person's summary of the meeting & presentation; I always wind up forgetting something in my notes! Thanks, Lisa.