Writing and Talking

connie-nordhielm-wooldridge-presents-keynote-at-the-mountAwhile back, I wrote a blog (“I Don’t Talk – I Just Write”) about how terrified I was when people discovered I was a published writer and started asking me to do talks. Today I can tell you that not only did I overcome that initial fear, but the talks I do for various audiences – from children to young adults to seniors – has become a crucial part of my writing process.

Initially, the questions people asked me (Where do you get your ideas?  Why did you choose to write about _______?) could be answered very simply: I don’t know!  I really never thought about it! It was invitations to speak that led me to the conclusion I’d better start thinking about these things and the thinking I did has shaped the way I write in some very wonderful ways.

A talk I do for writers (and will be doing this November at the OKI Children’s Literature Conference) is about all the things a writer does before typing that very first word. It’s called “Before Putting Pen to Paper: The Long Journey to the Opening Sentence”and each time I present it, I seem to have more things to say than I did the time before. Giving talks to writers causes me to look at my own writing and analyze why I do what I do and articulate it clearly enough for my listeners to understand. The process of preparing for the talk and the questions I get at the end send me back to my desk full of ideas on how to tweak my writing process…which gives me more to say the next time I talk to writers.

When I talk to elementary and high school students about “What it Takes to Become a Published Writer,”I’m reminded of how much I love what I do and of how long the journey has been.

Another talk for adults, which I’ll be doing in September (“The Story Behind the Story”) is just plain fun.  It covers the crazy things that happen on my research trips and the unconnected bits and pieces of my life and my thinking that crash into one another and form the basis for a story.

So it’s not about writing or talking.  It’s about writing and talking…and then writing better.


Biography | View

Speaker / Presenter

Connie is an experienced speaker and presenter who enjoys sharing her passion for writing and her experience as a writer with readers and writers of all ages. She has presented to students, community, civic and professional organizations, writing groups, library audiences, and seniors – wherever book lovers gather!

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