Friday, September 7, 2012

I'm grateful for BWRC blog 2...


Day two of the BWRC in Florida provided another intensive day of workshops, master-classes, pitching, selling and creative inspiration.

just a few gratefuls I wanted to share with you:

Senses at Sunrise
Yet again, I was grateful for the enthusiastic, early morning risers /  budding writers (a couple who returned for the second time) who made their way to the sand to get the creative juices flowing. Using all five senses in a twenty-minute writing sprint, many followed the session with yoga on the beach with Takeyah.


I’m grateful for M.A.D. Writing  - Dr Linda Beed
After a great yarn about the responsibility of the writer with Dr Beed (pictured above)on Thursday, I was looking forward to attending her workshop where she asked the group outright: Are you a M.A.D. writer? That is are you about

Dr Beed ensured us all that it’s okay to be mad, but what are you going to do with anger?
Are you going to embrace the familiar? Or are you going to take that mad and turn into something that can effect change?

She reminded us that our words should convey ideas, they should paint a picture, and writers are role models, intentional or unintentional because our words will affect someone whether we know or not.

To quote Dr Beed: ‘As a M.A.D. writer you will push beyond the boundaries of the expected. In doing so, content may touch subject matter ordinarily reserved for quiet conversations in dark corners. Writing out of the norm will bring an array of commentary.’

I’m looking forward to Dr Beed contributing a blog of her own gratefuls here in the future, in the meantime, you can find her at:

I was grateful for PATRICIA HALEY’s speech writing workshops
Patricia Haley is an LA-based public speaking consultant who completely owns the space she works when delivering a workshop. I have seen her present a number of times, and each time I am reminded of the importance of presentation when addressing an audience. In opening this workshop, Patricia opened with a story of how engaged she was by Barack Obama the first time she saw him speak. Of course, many of us were in awe of Obama’s capacity to completely capture his audience, and one of the best orations of all time must be his victory speech on November 4, 2008. I remember I was at home in Matraville ironing that afternoon, before I headed off to a Democrats Abroad party in Sydney to celebrate.

In this session we heard about Jon Favreau –speech writer for the White House, also assisted writing Obama’s victory speech, famous for the line ‘Change has come to America.’

In discussing ‘Engaging speech writing’, Patricia suggested thinking back to forums, speeches and presentations of both past and present day leaders. How did you feel after seeing them? What events and their speakers have you attended that captured attention? What worked for you in the delivery /content What did not?

I’m grateful for tips on Balancing Life and Writing with Dr Jacqualine Green
Many of you are aware that I have been using a life coach (Geraldine Star) for over ten years and over time, I have reached many of my professional and personal goals by working with her. So, I have a very good life / writing balance, however attending this workshop also gave me some new ways of measuring the time I put into work, writing, family and friends, community, fun, spirituality, self-care and personal growth. It was also an opportunity to see how other writers who run households and raise families also manage their writing /life balance. In all honesty, I don’t know how they do it. I’m flat out looking after myself!

Live the writers life AND pay the bills – Renee Flagler
BLOGGING was a key theme to this workshop and it reminded me of the value of regular blogs and guest bloggers (and I managed to rope in a LOT of delegates from the conference who will feature here in coming months). It was interesting to hear about the money-making opportunities you can avail yourself of if you want to add advertising to your blog-page.

Presenting on travel writing
Excited by the fact I had my travel article on tropical north Queensland published in the QANTAS Australian Way  magazine in August, I was plased to be able to present a workshop on travel writing and report back to delegates that  reached my goal - first set during the BWRC in Las Vegas in 2009 – where I rsearched my first ever travel story, Shop Till You Drop! 

Finally, I remain eternally grateful for the networking opportunities and the collegial atmosphere of the conference. I'm hoping we can do something similar in Australia in the future.

To see what other blogs have been written about the Black Writers Reunion and Conference, head to Twitter and search the hastag: #BWRC2012

Anita and Akela McDonald

Again, I am grateful to the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at UTS for the support in ensuring my attendance at the BWRC was possible.


Jeanette Hill said...

Love your enthusiasm for life, Anita! The BWRC was a phenomenal experience (as always-new friends/old friends!) and I so enjoyed meeting you!

Dr Anita Heiss said...

Hi Jeanette - it was fabulous to meet you also. I do hope you'll write me a few gratefuls yourself some day, and our paths cross again. It's great knowing we're doing this writing journey together! Much peace from Oz. Anita