Monday, September 22, 2008

Unexpected lessons

I am continually amazed by the opportunities each of us have to learn, to improve our craft and to network with other writers.

In years past I've gone to ACFWs conference. With hundreds of writers, and dozens of workshops, there is never an end to the ability to learn. For the most part, I have NOT attended local writer's groups because I didn't see the benefit in them. [And to attend every conference I was familiar with would simply be too expensive.]

This past Saturday I attended the Northwest Ohio Christian Writer's one-day conference. It lasted 7 hours and had four breaks and a lunch. I wasn't sure what I would learn, but the group was so friendly when I met them recently that I wanted to go simply for the fellowship.

The featured speaker was Kelly Carr, a magazine editor from Cincinnati, OH. I learned a great deal about editing, writing and selling work to magazines.

The most important lesson I learned, however, is recognizing the potential to learn and grow. Despite having written many magazine articles, completed almost 4 full-length novel manuscripts and pitched countless books-I still have lots to learn.

As I sat in the conference I thought of all of you. I wondered how many people I blog to have skipped opportunities to learn. The skill I polished at this one day conference was "teachability". I'm a very teachable person, but it's also a skill each of us needs to work on.

So whether at a conference, when speaking to an editor, or when pitching to an agent, are you learning all you can? Are you remaining teachable? or are you trying to make sure everyone knows how smart you are?

A key to effective marketing is listening to the needs of your customer. That ability to humbly listen begins with having a teachable nature.

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

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