What’s New @ Young Willamette Writers? March, 2018

Spring holds in its hand the promise of what is possible. I’ve been watching the news, watching young people find their voice and take a stand. They are the hope of spring– young, new, filled with the ideals of possibility that some adults seem to have forgotten.

Tears easily come to my eyes when I see these young people taking on a broken system and speaking out. They are the change. I can’t get too political here, but I can say this: I encourage you to use your voices and use your pen. Art can be advocacy.

What do you care about? That’s what you should be writing about. You can write about it as fiction or as non-fiction. Do you care about climate change? Write a story or an article. Do you care about gun control? Write about it. The adage that the pen is mightier than the sword means that your words and the intent behind them have power. Tapping into the passion of what is truly important to you is where you will uncover your best writing. And it’s where you will learn about yourself.

Adults like to think that wisdom is the purview of age, but sometimes wisdom blooms as the crocus pushing up through the snow, no less a flower because it is so new.

Write what’s in your heart. Write with your passion. Stand in the light of your truth and be brave with your stories. I am proud of you. Yours is a hope-filled generation and we’ve been waiting for you.


Fun Stuff for March

Author Quote of the Month:  There is a difference between procrastination and waiting. Procrastination is pushing aside or putting off writing. It is thinking that the moment is tomorrow.  It is not a way to let in vital energy.  Don’t procrastinate. Write now.  ~Natalie Goldberg~ from Wild Mind

Writing Prompt of the Month:  As young people speak out about gun violence, can they bring about real and lasting change? How?

Writing Advice for March:  “The thing I most want to stress is that different writers’ brains need different things. A lot of people will tell you: write a fast draft, then make it better. This is the way to write a book. Well, it’s a way. It might work for you, but if it doesn’t, don’t force it. My brain requires me to edit as I go and fix problems as they arise. I need to be able to connect with the story and love it on a sentence level every step of the way. It might sound crazy, but hey, some of us are crazy! “Process” is about managing our particular crazy as best we can, so you need to understand what your brain needs in order to do this thing, and then cater to it.”

~Laini Taylor~ author of Strange the Dreamer.

Submissions Wanted:  Young Willamette Writers Has its own journal that we release at the Willamette Writers Conference each year.  Do yo have an article, essay short story or poem that you’d like to see in print? Please submit your work to Youth@willamettewriters.org

Until next time, write on . . .

Stephanie Raffelock

Stephanie Raffelock is a novelist and a blogger. In her Sixty and Me column, she explores writing, living fully and loving well. She is a regular contributor to The Rogue Valley Messenger, and enjoys literary representation by Dystel, Goderich and Bouret in New York. You can find Stephanie at StephanieRaffelock.com or Tweet her @Sraffelock. What we create for the world, what it demands of us, is story. ~Robert McKee~