What do you do if you can't seem to write?
Writers get words on the page. No matter what else is happening in their lives, successful writers continue to produce great work they can be proud of. And yet, if you ask any group of writers what their big challenge is, most will point to getting those words on the page when life gets difficult. And it will get difficult. Fortunately, there are ways to get the words out anyway and continue to reach towards your dreams even in the hardest of circumstances.
In this webinar, Alex Hughes discusses a variety of strategies to keep the words flowing even when things get tough. She highlights common obstacles such as depression, anxiety, creative burnout, industry setbacks, family priorities, being overwhelmed by marketing/promotion, job stress, and much more, along with potential solutions. What do you do when you run into a creative wall? Alex gives you the tools you need to dig out. Furthermore, she lays out the methods that she's used as a working author to meet hard deadlines, including sprints and Pomodoro, creative support, forming good writing habits, and exercises, and provides detailed resources to help you in your journey. She also covers how to decide when to "move the goalpost," or make hard (and smart) business decisions when the bottom drops out of your life and/or writing becomes very difficult indeed. A practical discussion of some of the hardest parts of the writer's journey, complete with an open question and answer session at the end. All struggles welcome.
The webinar is intended for writers of fantastic fiction, which is an umbrella term covering fantasy, science fiction, horror, magical realism, and anything in between. Yet being consistently productive is important for all fiction writers, so those who focus on other genres could profit from this webinar and would be welcome.
While the webinar will be useful to writers at all levels, it will probably be most useful to those who have already spent significant hours writing and struggling to remain productive. Those writers should have a better sense of their particular challenges and which of the strategies we discuss will be most helpful.
Alex Hughes gave a lecture on Productivity for Writers at the 2015 Odyssey Writing Workshop. Students found the lecture so helpful that we asked her to offer an adapted version of that lecture as Odyssey's very first webinar. You can listen to an excerpt from that original lecture here.
To register, please fill out the webinar registration form. Note that this is not an application process as with Odyssey's online courses but a simple registration, and you will be asked to submit payment when you register.
On the form, you will indicate whether you would like to attend the live webinar or instead view the video recording at your own convenience.
Since the number of students we can include in the live webinar is limited to 23, you should only sign up for the live session if you are certain you can attend. Please don't take a spot from another writer and then fail to show up. If the time is inconvenient for you, please choose the option of viewing the video recording.
Once the live webinar is full, we will add a note at the top of this page. Those registering after that will be receiving access to a video recording of the session, along with all readings and handouts.
Both those attending live and those signing up to view the recording will have access to the recording for 60 days.
Before attending the webinar, you will be required to read several articles. Readings will be made available in advance via email.
Webinar content, in any format, is for the individual student only. Such content includes handouts, readings, files, and the recording of the webinar. Webinar content may not be posted, copied, shared, or distributed. The copyright of the content belongs variously to the instructor, to the authors of the readings, to Jeanne Cavelos, or to the Odyssey Writing Workshops.
As discussed above, since the size of the class for the live webinar is limited to 23, you should only sign up for the live session if you are certain you can attend.
If the time is inconvenient, you can instead register to view the video recording at your own convenience over a 60-day period. All readings and handouts will be emailed to you.
All students are expected to behave in a professional and respectful manner.
Technical requirements for Odyssey Webinars are covered on the webinar page.
The best and most effective way to increase your productivity as a writer is to surround yourself with other writers who are also determined to get words on the page and are willing to support one another. For those who are interested, we will be assigning students into Writer's Mastermind Groups of 6-7 and getting you started with suggested assignments/activities. Each group will have two student co-captains. While this kind of group is only as effective as the commitment of its members, if you stay committed, you and your group will have the opportunity to grow together, help one another, and keep one another accountable in your writing. Alex credits her group (pulled from her classmates at the 2011 Odyssey Writing Workshop) as one of the major positive forces in her writing life for the last 4 years.
Alex Hughes was born in Savannah, GA and moved to the south Atlanta area when she was eight years old. Shortly thereafter, her grandfather handed her a copy of Anne McCaffrey's Dragonrider series, and a lifelong obsession with scifi was born.
Alex is a graduate of the prestigious Odyssey Writing Workshop, a Semi-Finalist in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards, and a member of the International Thriller Writers. Her short pieces are published in several markets including EveryDay Fiction and Monster Corral. (Follow the link to read her short story.) Clean was a Finalist in the Silver Falchion Award 2013.
She is the author of four novels from Penguin Random House. Clean, her first novel, was a Finalist for the Silver Falchion Award 2013.
Alex's work is layered, dark, adventurous, and a little funny, with an emphasis on great characters and interesting worlds. She gets her inspiration from history (she majored with a European history focus in college), family members, and headlines, as well as whatever book she has in her hand. Lately she's been reading neuroscience books; the brain's a cool, cool place and the mind even more so.
An avid cook and foodie, Alex loves great food of any stripe—even better if she can figure out how to put it together. Great food is like a great book; it has lots of layers that work together beautifully, and the result is delicious and harmonious. She's working on figuring out Thai curries right now—suggestions welcome!
Alex loves swing dancing, tetris, music of all kinds, and has been known to get into long conversations with total strangers at restaurants about the Food Network, much to the embarrassment of her sister. She can also balance a spoon on her nose while crossing her eyes, and talk for hours about absolutely nothing.