Five Reasons To Get Off The Couch And Connect
Written by Anne Schroeder, SLO NightWriters Publicity Director, and author of Branches on the Conejo: Leaving The Soil After Five Generations, Ordinary Aphrodite, and Scent of Cedars
Please be sure to visit Anne on her popular blog site at: anneschroederauthor.blogspot.com.
The second Tuesday of each month is NightWriter night.
It's crunch time. You're weighing the comfort of your living room, your TV and a brand new bag of sea-salt potato chips versus gassing up the car and driving all the way to Avila Beach. Your significant other points at the door and you decide to tough it out.
You arrive at the meeting, but the speaker is obviously an alien from some distant planet who doesn’t have a clue. You go home and the next month, same routine, only this time you're ecstatic about the program.
What happens when speakers fail to meet our needs? Maybe the problem is with perception.1. You're an experienced writer and the speaker is beneath your skill level.
This happened to me recently. I heard a couple of sighs from people behind me and I knew I wasn't alone. The speaker was polished, but he was talking about a genre I don't write and have no interest in EVER writing. So I started concentrating, not on the message, but on his delivery. This speaker's program became a demonstration in how I could slow down my presentation, direct to a specific audience, entertain, dazzle.I’ve spent money at classes and learned less about public speaking. My take-away lesson was something I wouldn't have expected. I left a better author/speaker.
2. You're a new writer and you're intimidated.
Remember, everyone started exactly where you are. Many of us are not published. Some of us don't even write on a regular basis. We share a love of writing, reading, and a hope that we can improve our skills and a desire to meet others of like feathers.
Act as though you are and you become. It’s true in life, true in writing.
3. You're really just interested in networking.
Great. We have a snack table in the lobby. Stand at the coffee table and check out nametags. Arrive early and linger near the sign-in table. Bring your business cards and exchange email addies. Follow up during the month by asking another member to meet you for coffee and conversation. Our meetings aren’t supposed to be the end-all, but a beginning.
The NightWriter Board considers the diversity of our membership seriously. In an effort to create meaningful meetings we use several criteria for our programs. If we’ve overlooked anything, we have a suggestion box for members to suggest programs.
We are affiliated with the SLO ARTs and are sponsors for the Central Coast Writers’ Conference. We also make a wicked pot of coffee -- second Tuesday of every month.
- 1. Member experts -- Team teachers who present a specific theme.
- 2. Two mini-programs in one meeting.
- 3. Workshops on critique, creativity, poetry.
- 4. Outside speakers from the Central Coast Writer’s Conference.
- 5. Community experts on topics important to writers.
So bring that bag of potato chips and join us. Guaranteed we’ll have something for you, sometimes even famous writers, actors and screenwriters.