L.I.F.E = Writing Success | Mechanics' Institute

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L.I.F.E = Writing Success

When the leaves start turning my mind turns towards starting a new writing project. Tell me I'm wrong, but when the idea for a new project seizes you it consumes you – right?  My advice to you is don't forget about your L.I.F.E. Yes I'm using an acronym – L.I.F.E. refers to all the things that go with the call to write, outside of writing itself. Paying attention to these (see below) can improve your project's flow, build your career, and provide a sense of balance when you’re working too hard on a project.

Learn – Take classes, read books outside of your genre – aim to expose yourself to all kinds of inspiration.

Interact – Network and actively seek other writers, professionals, and creative types to keep your creative juices flowing.

Feedback – Give and solicit feedback and critique for your own work and that of others. Doing both is so helpful for identifying the good, the bad, and the terrible in your writing and leaving yourself open to insight from other muses.

Employ – Employ all the above into your writing practice and leverage your new found skills and relationships to further your writing career. Apply for scholarships and contests. They are an underutilized path to gaining recognition for your work, growing your career as a writer and (dare I say it?) publication.

Some announcements from our community.

The Indie Publishers Working Group is moving to a quarterly meeting schedule. Dates for 2019 are being chosen and will shortly be up on our website.

Rick Homan, the facilitator of two of our critique groups, has just published the first two volumes of his Nicole Tang Noonan mystery series. Find it soon in our collection.

Mary Jo McConahay, also a veteran of one of our groups, has recently birthed a powerful series of essays in her non-fiction work The Tango War: the Struggle for the Hearts and Minds and Riches of Latin American During World War II. Find out more at www.tangowar.com.

Monika Trobits has announced that her book, Bay Area Coffee: A Stimulating History, will be published in February by Arcadia Publishing/History Press. I can smell it already! Monika is an historian, tour leader, and regular participant in our writing and historically inclined activities.


We have several classes lined up to help you write your best:

To get you pumped about being a writer attend “You Can Be A Winning Writer” with Joan Gelfund on 10/12.

To help you transform your poetry into a book meet with Diane Frank on 10/13.

Prepare to soak up the marketing secrets that will be spilled at the Writers Lunch on 10/19

Learn how to Find and Work with a Literary Agent and write query letters with Andy Ross on 10/20

Nail and Workshop the Four Essential Pillars of Novel Construction with C.S. Lakin on 10/27

And Jess Ponce will teach you how to make your writer persona SHINE on 11/2.


I feel the earth shaking already! October means Litquake in the City! Starting October 11, we're hosting several events with our friends and tenants, and look forward to rubbing shoulders with those who love local literature. Check our calendar for the complete listings.

Remember, to L.I.F.E. a little this fall and if you have any news to share please let me know!

With best wishes,


Posted on Oct. 3, 2018 by Taryn Edwards