Ways to Expand Your Writing (and other) Talents

Autumn conjures up visions of pumpkin picking (Yes, we’ve got Apple Annie’s in Wilcox to satisfy that desire), Farmers Markets (Like the 8th Annual Harvest Festival Nov. 3), raking leaves (Well, that goes way back), and the general idea of harvesting – reaping what you sow.

Still being fascinated with words, I began sharing at storytelling events – not only reading, but telling. If you enjoy being with people and entertaining, this organic marketing is a solid connector. The next step for me seemed to be to share stories that have not been published (yet).

I’m not a numbers person, but in the last two decades I’ve had some rich “harvests.” Published two books, have the honor of being in several anthologies, 100s of website blogs and posts on Facebook. My writing expanded to sharing about the writing process for groups and writing organizations, and entertaining by reading at Open Mics, and my 2014 ‘baby,” Writers Read, here in Tucson at BREWD.

woman speaking to writing groupNEXT STEP FOR YOUR WRITING: Local writers and lovers of words, why not expand your word smithing outside of your books or ebook? Storytelling in Tucson: Tucson Tellers of Tales TOT, Odyssey Storytelling, Female Storytellers FST, Bar Flies , and other area events. Each of these offer opportunities to share your words. 

HOW TO:

  1. Have two to three stories you have honed to be able to share, without notes. Check the guidelines for the organization – theme, time limits, family-friendly, venue location, book sales possibilities, rehearsal, pitch and acceptance procedure.
  2. Once accepted, practice your story – not necessarily memorized, but be so familiar with the material that you know the next sequence of events. If it’s a true story, this gets a little easier. Memorizing works for some people who can deliver with gestures and facial and body language that seems natural. Memorizing can be a crutch if you forget a specific sentence. Solution: Accept that there’s the story you write or plan, the one you practice, and the one you actually give. They may not be exactly the same.
  3. Send, and then also bring, a very short intro to the event (3-4 sentences with the title of your piece). Do not depend on  the coordinator to remember you sent an email three weeks ago.  Most are wearing several hats at an event and will be grateful to have a half-sheet, typed, large font, short intro about you.NOT A WRITER? Musicians, singers, retired teachers – Why not take your voice to schools, assisted living communities, local restaurants, or residential communities? The audiences are excellent and most places encourage CD/book sales.

    Taking more of a plunge, I’ve been dabbling in improv with the incredibly entertaining and informative workshops at Unscrewed Theater. Now there’s an instant opportunity to be a wordsmith!

          MY REQUEST: Feel free to let me know how you’ve expanded your love of words. Check my Events to find some venues I’ll be at this fall.

Ethel Lee-Miller blogs regularly about people, the power of words, and the writing life. She is the author of Thinking of Miller Place, and Seedlings, Stories of Relationships.


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