I started off by listening to motivational podcasts while I’m in the car and exercising. I know I’m weakest at sales and development, so I try to listen to episodes that target that weakness and make me excited about prospects. I didn’t know a lot about graphic design, but I’m trying to watch tutorials about different Photoshop techniques and am looking into finding a local class I can take. This past weekend, I attended a local theatre conference and was asked to present on a panel about marketing tips for theatres. I’ll be honest, I felt like a fraud when I accepted the invitation. “They’re only asking me to be on the panel because I’m a woman, and every speaker and panelist this year on the conference is a woman to align with the theme of lifting up and empowering women in the performing arts,” I told myself.
Then I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to learn. I attended the keynote speech and a presentation by another all-female theatre group on their evolution. This morning, I sat on the panel, and while I did offer a few tips on how our company markets shows, I learned a great deal and am now armed and ready to head to the office tomorrow with fresh new ideas for marketing, design templates, photography and videography and project management systems.
This job has helped me be more productive in my own writing. Because I only have a set amount of hours per week for creative writing, I have to be intentional with my time. I’ve also been seeking out online classes I can take to help me in areas where I feel my writing is weakest. And I’m researching what writing conference I would like to attend in 2019 am including it in my own personal development plan. (I’m eyeing a novel-writing conference in California, but there are so many out there to choose from!) It will be pricey with conference registration, plane ticket, hotel, etc. but that's why I'm going to target in on one now and start putting money aside for it.
So if you haven’t taken the steps in creating your own professional development plan, I highly encourage you to do so! It doesn’t have to be expensive—you can attend a conference within driving distance or take one of WOW’s affordable classes, but make yourself a priority. Your writing and your mental health will thank you.
What have you done to enrich your life as a writer? Have you taken a class, workshop, internship, or attended a conference? I'd love to hear about your own experiences!