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November 2021

2022 Writing Heights Conference

It has been such a long time since I have been in person at any event, let alone a conference, that I felt quite giddy at the thought of attending this in person event. 

The 2022 Writing Heights Conference was hosted and organized by Northern Colorado Writers and held in my home city - Fort Collins. It was as if the universe was telling me something - this was an event I had no excuse to miss. 

I took leave, advised my colleagues that I was following my joy and attended my very first writers conference. 

For me, the conference started with a masterclass on Thursday, April 28th, 2022, a four-hour class on what it takes to successfully self-publish conducted by Kerrie Flanagan. The conference programming started at 9am on Friday April 29th and ended the afternoon of Saturday April 30th. 

Each night I came home with my brain humming, overheating with all the new, actionable information I had learned.

I love learning new things. 

It is going to take several weeks to digest everything that I learned. But in this moment, now, as I write this here are some of my key takeaways: -

  1. Author Website. I've been blogging since 2003, and my website looked quite frankly like an ancient relic. I don't have the budget to spend on author website design, so I decided to look at what other templates were available and try them out. I think I will continue to tweak until I am happy with this. 
  2. That it is ok not to write every day. 
  3. Every author whether they are self-published or with a traditional publisher is expected to do some marketing. That was an eye opener. I always thought that if one is traditionally published that the publisher handles all the marketing. Not true. 
  4. Marketing - you can't do everything, so try out different things, and find the things that you are most comfortable doing. 
  5. The importance of a critique group. I have been feeling very anxious about this. But I attended a wonderful session given by Kendra Griffin who explained the value of critique groups, and how to give and receive good critiques. I made a connection or two. So fingers crossed I can get started in a critique group. 
  6. Know, study and read your genre. 

 

 

 


Finding and following your joy

Follow your joy
I think that being able to find your joy and then having the luxury to follow it is a special gift. A privilege. 

My joy started in a place of sadness - after the loss of a beautiful kitten. That resulted in me writing the first book in the series - The Lost Colors. I self-published through Amazon (Amazon makes it very easy to do this.) That was at the start of the pandemic. During the lockdown and in the midst of such uncertainty these stories became my refuge. I designed the covers - ineptly using Paint 3d, and drew some "line art." I created five books in this series. I never gave much thought beyond the creative process. I thought that only family and friends would ever enjoy reading them. 

But I've decided to do something more. I am very excited about this. I am re-launching the series. I have found an amazing artist who I will be collaborating with, and who I know will create some beautiful art for the book covers. I want to elevate the series. I want to spread the joy around. This means I need to widen my distribution channels to target schools and libraries. 

Announcements relating to the relaunch, and upcoming books can be found on my Caitlin and Rio Series website. 

I am so grateful I have the privilege of following my joy.