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Posts Tagged ‘continuing education’

If your skills need improvement, INVEST in yourself and take a class!

I recently attended a screenwriting workshop presented by Hollywood veteran, Jeff Schimmel. To say I learned a lot of immensely useful information is the biggest understatement of the year. But as valuable as the literal information I received from the workshop was, the even more important thing I received was encouragement. “Anyone can sell a screenplay,” Schimmel said.

Of course, the caveat is that it’s a great story submitted through the proper channels in the proper format. Piece of cake, as my personal trainer used to say.

This workshop was an investment for me: Money. Sixteen hours of valuable time I could have spent working. My intense energy and undivided attention. Was it worth it? Absolutely!

Here are my takeaways for a first-time self-publishing author:

  • YOU can do it! But it probably won’t be easy.
  • You will have to make some investments. You may  have to give up your weekends for a year. You may sleep a little less, or occasionally miss “Modern Family.” If there are things you need to learn, find a qualified teacher, spend the money, put in the time, and get yourself educated.
  • When someone gives you a road map, follow it. In attempt to stand out from the crowd, we can have a tendency to spit on the system in an effort to do it our own way. The thing is, the system is there because it works. If someone advises you to create an outline, write a marketing plan, rehearse your pitch till you can say it in your sleep – accept that advice, because those are the steps a successful author takes. Use your creativity in the right places: to create a great book, for a mischief marketing campaign, to reach the rock star whose blurb will help you sell books.
  • If you’re willing to work your butt off, you will write, publish, and sell your book.

Writing, by its nature, is a solitary occupation. But every once in a while, it pays to step out, find a community, get some support, and enhance your skills.

Happy learning!

Laura

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