Five skilled wordsmiths, each providing seven gems of knowledge. That’s how the Town Hall program at the Emerging Writers Festival (EWF) is kicked off. The Ambassador Program at the Emerging Writers Festival (or #ewf on twitter) quite simply rocks. The Ambassador’s role is to be available, be ready to have their head picked, brain meats fossicked and have curly questions thrown at them. It sets a wonderful atmosphere of availability and open conversation for the rest of the festival. I hope other writers festivals go for this kind of thing. It’s a wonderful, wonderful program.
Ambassador Pooja Mittal, poet and geek girl was the first to speak and share the seven things that she learned/wished people had told her. Pooja has a lovely fresh voice, crisp intelligent language and a blog. Here are my imperfect notes and interpretations:
- There is no Ivory Tower. Find community, it will help you create, it is important
- All criticisms are constructive. If it’s true and hurts it’s because they’ve found you out. If it has absolutely no grain of truth (and make sure you look)… well then it isn’t a crit.
- Conserve your syllables – it’s a useful tool to help you show not tell. Make sure every sound serves a function and has elegance.
- A writer’s block is just a block in the road, it is no the end of the road. Fallow fields, dry seasons allow the soil to rest.
- Inspiration doesn’t strike, it surrounds
- Change is natural, don’t pigeonhole yourself. Explore different media and different forms. Most creators create in more than one way.
- Give no excuses for your writing – don’t explain what you’re trying to do. Do.