Personal Writing, Personal Space
As professional writers, we tend to get into the grind of making a buck, hitting those deadlines, and delivering results. It’s enough to make you forget why you started writing in the first place—your love of self-expression. Writing isn’t all about submitting, submitting, submitting...it’s also about personal growth. When was the last time you wrote something entirely for yourself? We need to remember that is important too.
The benefits of personal writing are endless. When we write for enjoyment, we learn so much about ourselves. We work through problems and come up with solutions on our own, we relieve stress, we find our true voice, and perhaps, our true calling. That’s what we hope you’ll discover in this issue. Whether it’s memoir writing, poetry, personal essay writing, journaling, or blogging, you’re bound to find a creative outlet from the experts in this issue.
And what about personal space? I’m not talking “You’re invading my personal bubble” sort of personal space; I’m talking your surroundings. Having a comforting space to create is just as important as writing in it. In fact, it should probably come first! I know we’ve all heard the saying: “Let the dusting go,” but what if the dust is subconsciously affecting your writing? Sometimes, we need to clear the excess baggage to clear our minds and free our inner muse.
Ready to get started? This issue is all about YOU.
A big, warm, thank you goes out to our freelancers and staff members:
We welcome Mary J. Breen, a new freelancer, to the WOW! family. Mary teaches us how to bring our articles and essays into focus by creating writing charts. This step-by-step process is not to be missed!
We welcome back WOW! team member Chynna Laird! Her interview with Jenny Block, author of Open, explores life in an open marriage, as well as how we can get our work out there and noticed. We also want to congratulate Chynna on the birth of her beautiful baby girl, Sophie!
To WOW! columnist, Marcia Peterson, for her in-depth and motivational interview with Sheila Bender. If you’ve ever wanted to truly connect with your inner writer through journaling and poetry, you’re in for a treat.
To WOW! columnist, Susan Eberling, for providing us with two articles this month! Susan interviews poet, Karen Rigby, and gives us fabulous finds in our Must Have Personal Writing Utensils column.
To WOW! team member, LuAnn Schindler, for her uplifting article on positive journaling, featured in our Freelancer’s Corner column. Thank you LuAnn for coming through with a fantastic piece on such short notice! I bet we’ll be reading more from you very soon.
To C. Hope Clark for giving us a ton of great personal story markets in this month’s Funds 4 Writers column.
To WOW! team columnist, Margo Dill, for exploring ways to bring personal writing into your daily routine, as you’ll see at the bottom of this page.
To senior editor, Annette Fix, for her 20 Questions interview with Judith Barrington about writing literary memoir and poetry.
And to my interviewees this month! Thanks goes out to Jill Butler for giving me the courage to create the space I deserve, and to Darlene Chandler Bassett for giving women writers a room of their own.
SPRING FLASH FICTION CONTEST UPDATE
For all of you who are dancing around in anticipation of the contest results, we know you are excited and we look forward to revealing the winning stories soon. We've had so many amazing entries this quarter! As you may know (and for those of you who don't), the critique option was a new feature we offered to contestants. Unfortunately, we seriously underestimated the amount of time it would take to do all the critiques—so it has put us a tad behind schedule. I'm sorry we don't have a set time line for you, but just know that we are running like manic hamsters in a wheel to bring you all the wonderful WOW! content. When the results are posted on the site, we will send out a notification email to everyone.
NEW PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
WOW! Classroom Workshops
Within our community, WOW! has so many talented and diverse professional writers who teach others how to navigate the writing and publishing world. Whether you are searching for an agent, looking to break into freelance writing, wanting to learn how to perfect your query letter, or planning to take that first step to novel writing, WOW! wants to provide you with the resources to reach your goals. So, to do this, we will be launching the WOW! Classroom in September!
We have many wonderful instructors already on the slate and once their curriculum is finalized, we will be announcing the list in a special email blast. Class sizes will be limited, so if you see a workshop you want to take, you'll have to jump on it!
We do have a few spaces available for additional instructors, so if you teach a professional course for writers and would like to join the WOW! team, feel free to submit a query and your course description for consideration.
Holiday Gift Guide
We are always looking for ways to bring you useful content and products that will help you with your writing, publishing, and promotion journey. But we also know there are ways to combine what you love (books) with the other aspects of your life. So, we've come up with a new product we think will be a great resource and time saver for the upcoming holidays when you will be looking for great books to give as gifts or buy for yourself. It's never too early to get a jump on your gift shopping—or wish list making!
This holiday season we will be publishing a free Holiday Gift Guide as a downloadable PDF from the WOW! site with information about great books in 15 different categories of fiction and nonfiction from male and female authors.
And One for You – novelty gift books
Business Minded – business books
Dark & Stormy Night – mysteries, thrillers, suspense, crime
Food Festival – cookbooks, entertaining guides
Funny Bones – humor books
Heart Sleeves – romance, chicklit
Help is Here – advice, how to
Inside/Outside – health, fitness, nutrition, spirituality
Kid’s Corner – picture books, middle grade, young adult
On the Road Again – travel books
Picture Perfect – coffee table books, photography, film
Story Weavers – mainstream and literary fiction
Tech Deck – computer books
Trend Setter – fashion, music, pop culture
Who, What, Where – history, biography, memoir
The Holiday Gift Guide will be available in the November issue and will be the perfect resource for finding the hottest titles on the market to add to your wish list or give as gifts.
2009 Surprise Announcement Preview
It's in the planning stages, so all I can say is two words to give you a hint: WOW! Retreat. It's going to be the must-attend event in 2009. And one you definitely won't want to miss!
Stay tuned for so many wonderful things we have planned for you, our loyal readers.
And it has recently come to our attention that many readers don't know how to navigate the WOW! site to find all of the back issues of archived articles, interviews, etc. If you haven't had a chance to read and explore the back issues, you are definitely missing out! Go to the WOW! home page and look in the left sidebar above the fold. Find the gray button that says "Quick Links"—it will give you a drop down menu that will allow you to find everything by column and issue. Happy reading!
Onto the issue! Enjoy!