EWF14: Ambassadors 5 Rules for Writing

Today was the first day of the Emerging Writers Festival National Conference and every year there are five writers that are ambassadors who are there too support the emerging writers and be there as a resource. The first event of the festival is 5×5, the five writers give their rules of writing.

The ambassadors were:

  • Maxine Beneba Clark
  • Hannah Kent
  • Krissy Kneen
  • Benjamin Law
  • Felix Nobis   

 Maxine Beneba Clark      @slamup

  1. Write What You Know To Be True – find someway of accessing the story if it isn’t your story
  2. Use Your Failures – rehash your life and make it work for you
  3. Throw Your Hat In The Ring – enter competitions every now and again, you never know what will happen
  4. Find Your Niche – find a style that works for you
  5. Become Part Of A Community – connect to other writers

Hannah Kent    @HannahFKent

  1. Read – if you read something that you like, ask why and deconstruct it. The more you understand language, the better grasp you will have articulating it. Also, when you are feeling uninspired, have a read and that will renew your faith. Writing like your favourite writers rarely happens, you will only notice it
  2. Cultivate Empathy – it goes a long way in the writing world. When you are on a tram, look at people and try to figure out what they might be feeling
  3. Work Hard – raw talent is nothing if you don’t have the work ethic than you will not get anywhere. Honor deadlines, be respectful and kind
  4. Be Disciplined – learn to write when you are completely uninspired. Don’t wait till you feel inspired – there is no right time to get writing apart from now. Write from the soul, so it moves you, not for the money. You have to write like it is your oxygen 
  5. Self-Doubt is a Side Effect of Writing – self-doubt will always live in the background, learn to ignore it. Have a Keep Calm and Carry On poster on your wall

Krissy Kneen          @krissykneen

  1. You’re Novel Will Fall Apart – learn to power through, it is about the 20,000 word limit. It’s easier to work on a bad first draft than a blank page
  2. Be Careful What You Read – read books that will stretch your imagination and make you a better writer
  3. Develop A Split Personality – half of it focused on business and the other half on the writing. Tapping into the self conscious as a writer, focus on the relationship with the words and worry about business in business time
  4. Be Nice To Everyone – what goes around, comes around
  5. Get Off Goodreads – everyone has an opinion, and is a critic – don’t take what a troll says seriously 

 Benjamin Law       @mrbenjaminlaw

  1. Get An Accountant – get one that understands arts
  2. Break Your Goal Down – even if it is a feature, break it down to single steps
  3. Never Be Without Ideas – always pitch, and have seven pitches going at the same time. Record drunken ideas and join book clubs and carry a notebook
  4. Exercise – helps with writers block. Clears mind to a blank slate
  5. Choose Projects Wisely – Get what you want and get out. When deciding on projects it has to be two of the three things; fun, interesting and makes money

 Felix Nobis

  1.  Publishing Isn’t Just Writing – it can be performance and recordings
  2. You Will Be Your Own Manager For Sometime, Either Short or Long-term – become business smart
  3. Grants – a grant application is never the place to demonstrate creative writing ability
  4. Feedback – know what you are asking for with friends/family/editors and be specific in why you want them to read your work. What do you want out of it
  5. Writing Habits – be aware of your writing habits and work with it. Treat it like a job and make time to do the habits you have cultivated

I learned so much in just this hour alone, and the highlight of the day.

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