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Wonder Writer Meets Her Match, Squares Up Against the Best in the Business

The big news out of Titletown this weekend? The Green Bay Packers 2017 draft picks. What about the big news out of Untitled Town this weekend?

Never heard of Untitled Town? It’s a first-time event in which readers and writers congregated for three days of homage to the written word.

The Untitled Town Book and Author Festival incorporated more than 70 events in 7 different locations in downtown Green Bay. At writing workshops, panel discussions, and readings I found solidarity with others who truly love words.

Joan Koehne at Untitled Book and Author Festival
Joan Koehne attends Untitled Book and Author Festival.

The presenters were generous in dispensing nuggets of wisdom about their writing. Here are a few gems I packed away:

  1. No finished work is done until someone else reads it.
  2. Writers are divided into two categories: Plotters, who plan carefully, and Pantsers, who write by the seat of their pants.
  3. Readers are seeking a “rabbit hole” — an escape from their jobs, their kids, and their dirty dishes.
  4. Writing is a process. Stories don’t just pop out full-borne. They need to be massaged over time.
  5. Two things are critical to improve your writing: Read a lot, and write a lot.

I call myself Wonder Writer, but I think I met my match this weekend!

These writing professionals are fervently dedicated to their craft. After all, it can be a years-long journey from the first word written to the date a novel is published.

When I consider this daunting scenario, I’m thankful I spend my days crafting 250-500 words at a pop in the form of website content, blog articles, news releases and the like.

I walked away from the conference inspired, yes, but even more so, I felt proud of my role as a storyteller (minuscule as it is) in a vast and diverse writing industry. For this, I thank the creators of #UntitledTown. Can’t wait for next year!

Spring cleaning uncovers a simple, yet precious, treasure

Joan is reminded of writing a letter to Will Koehne.
Here’s a throwback photo of our family at Will’s graduation party.

Nothing takes you back in time like reading an old, handwritten letter that you don’t recall writing.

I was doing some spring cleaning in our son Will’s bedroom this week and came across two boxes of “treasures” he had saved. Inside one box I found a couple of letters I wrote to him six years ago, right after he left home to attend college.

I was touched. I guess those letters meant something special to him. They meant something to me, too. I couldn’t read them fast enough, yet I wanted to read them slowly to savor the memories.

Those letters to our son were filled with news about home, like his sister’s “chipmunk cheeks” because she had her wisdom teeth pulled and how we were eating green beans from the garden, even though it was late August.

Reading the letters was like opening a time capsule dated 2011 with the title: The Koehne Family Chronicles. The subtitle would have read something like this: Mom and Dad send firstborn to college – and they miss him. The words of those letters connected us to our son during a pivotal time in our lives. He was learning about independence, and we were learning about letting go. Writing those letters was a way for us to connect with our son.

Isn’t that what writing is all about? Making connections?

The writing I do today is called content marketing. I’m creating and sharing online content that piques the reader’s interest. Although the content isn’t sent in the form of a handwritten letter, it has that same ability to resonate with the reader. The content is authentic and original. It’s interesting. It’s conversational. It gives a glimpse into what’s important today.

Whether I’m writing website content, news releases, blog articles or newsletters, I strive to connect with my audience. Making that connection is one of the first steps to making a sale. What audience are you trying to connect with? How might Writer to the Rescue help you make that connection?