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Writers Cramp (er...I mean, Camp)

I usually begin my seminar/workshops by asking participants to write three questions they have for me. They can be personal or professional. then, depending on the number of participants, I ask them each to ask one of their questions. This is a great ice-breaker, allowing for participation, and a chance to give short answers to their most pressing inquiries. I usually get a chance to tell a few funny stories. Most importantly, I can now gauge where my seminar should be focused.

Each seminar is different. I don't have a canned approach. I teach what students are there to learn...what's important to them. Along the way I manage to include fundamentals, such as how to find the right publisher, developing writer/publisher relationships, as well as nuts and bolts of the writing process. Every seminar/workshop I've given has proved unique, and the chance to help others through my experience is always fun.

I tell students that I am able to write about anything, and I challenge them to give me a subject they think I can't write about. During my last seminar, a woman smiled and said, "You can't write about a mosquito."

I immediately lay on the floor, and began telling the story of a man, down on his luck, trying to sleep, yet he is accosted by a mosquito. I make sound effects to go along with my story. The man begins thinking aloud, rueing his recent divorce, his dead end job...and the mosquito keeps buzzing. Soon, I hop up and begin swatting the air, finally grabbing a phantom baseball bat and destroying my bedroom, cursing my rotten luck the whole time.

The woman was laughing so hard by the end that she had jot go out for water. This allowed me to talk about the myth of writers block.

Future blogs will talk about what you want to learn about. I use visitor comments and questions to guide my Writers Camp. Feel free to ask about anything, and I promise to give you an honest answer. In the meantime, keep your senses open, your mind clear, and write everyday...even when you don't feel like it.

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