How to Jumpstart your Writing Career

Posted: November 6, 2014 in Writing
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Last weekend I went to the Indiana Faith and Writing Conference at Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana. This was actually my second writing conference I’ve been to (I mistakenly referred to it as my first in my last post), and as I mentioned in my Facebook post, it was exactly what I needed as a writer.

Over the last year I’ve been discouraged when it came to my writing; I took Creative Writing and Fiction Writing at Taylor University, and I felt that all the short stories I wrote were garbage. I had trouble coming up with good ideas, and they never turned out as well as I wanted them to. I had my novel, but beyond a Speculative Fiction seminar with Jeff Gerke that I took last January, I’ve barely touched it. I had lost the passion for writing fiction that I had when I first came to Taylor University to pursue Professional Writing.

This conference, and one session in particular, changed all of that. I took the Writing Fiction seminar with Katie Ganshert, which was about building the spark of an idea into a full fledged story. Essentially, it covered what Debra Dixon called the Goal, Motivation, and Conflict (GMC) of a story; that is, What does the character want, Why does he want it, and What is standing in his way of reaching that goal. Mrs. Ganshert also talked about the Internal/External GMC, addressing the GMC from Character First and Plot first perspectives, and the plot road map.

As I sat there listening to the lecture, I began thinking of The Traveler; who he was, what he’s doing, and what his motivations are. New ideas began flowing through my mind, and for the first time in a while, I got excited about The Traveler and what story may come from it. There still remains a lot of work to do in planning and writing the novel, but thanks to Katie Ganshert’s Writing Fiction seminar, I know how to think through the idea for my novel.

So the moral of this story is, if you’re ever feeling down about yourself in your writing, if you’re stuck on a writing project, or if you feel like you’ve run dry on ideas, come to a writing conference. It will jumpstart your writing career and bring new life to your writing.


  1. Great thoughts, Scott. A writer’s conference is definitely one of the most encouraging things to attend when struggling.

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