My only goal in attending Blogs & Beyond was to feel less ‘stuck’, but I got so much more!
I planned to get there early to fangirl her up close and personal but the traffic between Melbourne’s outer east and the venue (and quaint little place known as The Curate Space on Little Collins Street) had other ideas …
We started the workshop by responding to prompts that truly realigned me with my mission.
I blew up my reasons ‘why not?’ then went on to gain invaluable ideas for at least half a year’s worth of content through a group brainstorming mastermind facilitated by Ann.
The other attendees were all accomplished in their own right and contributed their brainpower to help me think outside the box.
The opportunities really are endless.
I honestly can’t put a price tag on this kind of workshop.
* More on Naomi’s experience at the workshop can be read on her website.
I attended Ann Bolch’s workshop The Vital Link: Manuscript Development and Story Coaching at the 2017 IPED Conference.
I was particularly interested as I have been working in this field of mentoring and manuscript development for many years.
Ann is an IPED accredited editor, and presented a well organised and professional workshop.
As I near the end of my career, it is encouraging to see such enthusiasm and willingness to share her expertise with other editors.
With professionals like Ann, the profession is in great hands.
I was so impressed with Ann’s writing workshop! I loved how organically she could draw content from my mind, and her exercises made it very easy to create ideas, concepts and new ways to tell my story in my business.
I would always struggle with the WHAT I could write about for my content marketing (blogs, social media posts, etc.) and I was amazed at how easy her exercises were to create long lists of content ideas!
I found her to be a warm, genuine and engaging presenter, and saw people opening up and collaborating effortlessly to come up with ideas to expand their business.
Her workshops are a must attend if you’ve been challenged by sharing your business story and writing content.
The Vital Link was helpful as I am relatively new to doing manuscript appraisals. Ann had some good tips on how to structure the feedback and deliver it to clients.
I tend to come in at the structural editing stage on most new projects, so
I also found the step-by-step process from initial contact through to manuscript appraisal and beyond (i.e., the various stages of editing) useful.
I would recommend this workshop to people like me who are expanding their editing services to include manuscript appraisals.
I was stuck, not really sure how to begin, or what framework to use. Now I feel it’s much easier than I thought, and I have a structure to follow that has made the idea of writing blogs less formidable!
I think the Blogs and Beyond workshop is for anyone who is new to blogging, to inspire and motivate them to have a go, start writing and see what happens. And for those who think they can’t write or don’t know where to start.
Ann’s blogging workshop was a powerful experience – I loved her engaging energy, her approach, and her style of presenting.
I was surprised to find words flowing out of me during the exercises, and a new belief that blogging just might be for me after all!
In such a short workshop I received a wealth of blogging material to last me months – and the confidence to use it. Gold :)
The Making A Scene workshop made me realise that there’s more to writing than putting great dialogue together.
Creating a scene helped me deepen my writing craft to give my stories so much more colour and texture.
One of the scenes I wrote during the workshop has made it all the way into my second draft!
Ann presented the material and her own extensive experience with a beautiful combination of teaching, coaching and conversation.
The lessons I learnt continue to resonate each time I write.
By doing Making A Scene, I was hoping to gain more knowledge about writing, to broaden my skills and to challenge myself as well as to meet other writers.
The workshop met my hopes, and also exceeded them. I didn’t know what to expect, as I’d never done a workshop before, but I left feeling motivated!
I learned a lot about scenes and structure. Something I found difficult, but left me inspired, was the timed writing prompts.
I’d never challenged myself with this and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do it, but I found them very useful and eye opening.
Learning about the ‘S.C.E.N.E structure’ was very insightful and is something I aim to take on board with my own stories.
It was very beneficial being in a group. We are all made of stories and it was wonderful to have a vast range of stories in one room.
Because we were all such different writers at different stages in the writing process, it was great to get a glimpse into how other writers write and what their process is.
The best part of the workshop for me was the timed writing prompts.
I also really enjoyed hearing everyone else’s work because we (for the most part) were given the same prompts but each imagined something completely different and it was fantastic to see the magic of imagining.
I would definitely recommend this workshop. It was a very enriching writing challenge. I loved the location, and the small ‘class’ size allowed everyone’s voice to be heard.
Plotting Backwards gently opened my eyes to a fresh view on how to understand and write an emotionally powerful narrative arc.
It clarified the strengths of the story and identified gaps needing to be filled.
It was an optimistic revelation and left me eager to get on with focused writing.
Most valuable was the guided investigation of the credible driver of my story.
It was missing an understanding of my protagonist’s emotional misbelief and the self-talk that inflates this misbelief and deflects evidence to the contrary.
Understanding these powers the narrative and explains the tragedy.
For me, the big takeaway was that the story comes first and that you have to be clear about the emotional driver of that story.
Ann’s workshop reveals that and it’s exciting to peel away the dross.
I was surprised at how clear the narrative spine of the story can become with the guidance of an experienced professional.
Plotting Backwards helped me focus on what’s really important to my reader.
Ann is a skilled facilitator who gently offered fresh perspectives on my work. When I was feeling bogged down, Ann lifted the fog.
I would highly recommend this workshop to writers who need a hand disentangling the story, who value clarity around their narrative arc and relish that ‘aha!’ moment.
It was fun and productive. It really gets you cracking.
I’d like to share some thoughts on things I found valuable at The Vital Link workshop in manuscript development and story coaching, and have been pondering since.
As manuscript development is a niche for my freelance business, I was pleased to get pointers on how I might improve, yet also feel validation that I was doing things right.
I particularly enjoyed what you shared about really engaging with the person behind the words and understanding the writer's intention, and the message or theme of the work. Along with your warning us to be aware of personal ‘triggers’ that might affect our
approach to certain stories, this got me reflecting on my own work. It’s improved my relationship with clients and potential clients.
I liked your suggestion about getting away from trying to be perfect.
I also can relate quite keenly now to the idea that it requires considerable maturity to be a story coach – to offer honest feedback in a way that is compassionate, to honour the effort but also to hold the space to be of real value.
I found you a very engaging speaker and person. It seemed to me you were being yourself up there at the workshop and at the conference so I particularly appreciate that. Thank you.
What I liked from the course was the idea that I just needed to sit down and write, and allow the personality of the business to come through.
The newsletter was more fun that way.
Before, I was too formal so it needs a bit of re-jigging, but my goal is to still get some communication out there. Perhaps a one-year anniversary edition!