I have a secret to confess: I love New Year’s resolutions. So much so that I even find times of year to get my resolve on, most commonly on my birthday in June and just before September when everything feels so back-to-school anyway. While I don't keep every vow, the opportunity for renewal is irresistible. Even reading other peoples’ resolutions, like the ones outlined by my colleagues in the previous NetWords blog post, is inspiring. For me, thinking of new directions for my business, vowing to start or complete new creative projects or even tweaking my work-life balance are common resolution themes. So are skills upgrades. The urge to become that tiny bit more skilled as a writer or to sharpen my detail orientation as an editor sends me right to rereading, sometimes annually, one or more of the variety of writing books on my shelves, from William Zinsser’s On Writing Well to Stephen King’s On Writing to Amy Einsohn’s The Copyeditor’s Handbook (how’s that for nerdy?).
Regardless of your degree of resolution-obsession, New Year’s is the time that most of us at least cast our thoughts toward this topic, so naturally we thought it the perfect time to have a seminar with some panelists who are great at what they do and ask them to inspire us. Veteran interviewer Paul McLaughlin will share some of his experience on getting more out of your interviews, current Cottage Life managing editor Rebecca Caldwell will share lessons learned about the best and worst she’s seen from freelancers at the various publications at which she’s worked, and investigative reporter Tim Groves will share his tips on how to do Internet research better and smarter. For the old-timers in the crowd, we hope the panel will provide a great New Year’s refresher, and for any newcomers making their first forays into the writing world, we hope their tips will provide a confidence boost that will last the whole year. And if being more sociable is one of your resolutions, please join us after for our regular Cheers with Peers at the nearby Madison pub. Hope to see you there.
Suzanne (Sue) Bowness is a freelance writer and editor online at www.codeword.ca.