Wish You Were Here! …by Susan Lute

This weekend I’m at Rose City Romance Writers’ Spring Intensive. Wish you were here! There have been industry panels with agents and editors, informal roundtables, workshops on Advanced Writing, Putting More Romance Into Your Publishing, Creating Blogs, Storyboarding Your Career, basket and book giveaways. We’ve learned how to craft a good query letter, and about the internal workings of Entangled Publishing. All with good food, and in the midst of great company.

Take away: Be bold. Be brave. It’s a new world out there in publishing land. And you can choose your own publishing path.

Have you got your coffee (or tea)? I’ve been dying to talk about storyboarding for awhile now. This is a workshop I’ve taught for many years; a technique to focus your thoughts and energy to create a ‘board’ that tells a story. Most writers use this technique to organize their thoughts for the story they’re currently working on, or one or more characters in the story. For the purposes of this post, we’re talking about making a storyboard for our careers, whether that’s being an author, an archeologist, or a teacher <g>.

How is a storyboard put together? First gather your supplies: a poster board cut in half, scissors, glue sticks, tons and tons of magazines, and your highest aspirations. To begin with, clear off a surface, get comfortable, take a slow, deep breath to clear your mind of all previous expectations. With no expectations, and without conscious forethought, cut out pictures from the magazines that spark an interest or response. Even though this is a career storyboard – in this instance, an author board – the pictures that appeal to you will not always have relevance to being a writer. Gather the pictures you’ve chosen, begin pasting them on the board in whatever order that seems pleasing to you. When you are done, you will have a story about you and the possibilities for your future.

This is a fun exercise – time spent discovering a side of yourself you might not know. Be bold. Be brave. Enjoy!

Today is the last day of the Intensive. I’ll go home, and tomorrow, sift through all the information I’ve absorbed. I’ll send out manuscripts requested by agents and editors, and get back on the yellow brick road to a marvelous future.

If you made a story board, what story did it tell you? If you didn’t, what do you see for yourself over the next year?


About Susan

Author, wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, dreamer.

Posted on April 1, 2012, in General and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Hi August! So nice to see you here. I love your name! I was born in August πŸ˜€ I also LOVE writers’ gatherings. We have a lovely group that meets once a month. 140-ish of us, not all at once, of course. Check out Rose City Romance Writers if you get the chance πŸ™‚


  2. Terrific post, Susan! Sounds like you’ve had a blast at the intensive. Aren’t writers gatherings awesome??

    I haven’t created a tangible story board, but I have many in my mind. And on Pinterest, if that counts. πŸ˜‰ You’re so right about the boards/stories telling US, not the other way around. Glad Facebook led me to your blog!


  3. Gina Fluharty

    Limiting myself to the ONE cup of coffee I usually have today instead of the 2-3-4 I had at the intensive. I love coffee but too much makes my head hurt! Or was that all the info I was absorbing? I love my storyboard and am SO excited about it. I truly believe that it will lead me into the future in the most exciting of ways. Your format for inspiration is greatly appreciated! Now onto Nancy’s blog. :o)


  4. Sipping coffee and reading your blog. Wishing I could have been there.


  5. Maggie! It was wonderful seeing you. Crazy’s not terrible πŸ™‚ Travel safe!


  6. I loved the first day. Sorry to be missing the second. I’m now in D.C. awaiting my flight to Frankfurt overnight, then on to Abu Dhabi tomorrow afternoon.

    I’m always amazed at the beautiful storyboards you and others create for all kinds of problem solving and visualizing. I’ve never been a visual person, except with words. My “storyboards” as a kid were always more like word mind-maps. I think the reason I continue to eschew pictures is because choosing a picture puts it in stone and my minds-eye visualization is always much better than any picture can capture.

    Yes, I admit to being completely crazy but I embrace my craziness. πŸ™‚


  7. Jessie! Missed you! It’s a wonderful tool, isn’t it?


  8. I’m so bummed I missed your workshop but I still have my storyboard from last year and reflect on it about my career


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