When I enrolled with the Blogchatter’s Credibility Program through Blog Imprints – Creative Writing e-course, I had been dabbling with blogging for almost a year and a half. Also, in mid-February of this year I launched my own website www.shivaniwrites.in.
I had started realising the need for a structured course to fine tune my skills as a writer. I had started off with non-fiction but when I experimented in fiction, I found it enjoyable and when it was appreciated as well, I felt that I should pay more attention there. That is when I felt that I need some guidance. The reason I zeroed in on this course was because Blogchatter as a brand has credibility when it comes to writing.
When I was asked as to what I hope to achieve by the time this course ends, I had the following goals lined up:
- I wanted to concentrate on fiction
- My website had just been launched and I wanted it to look good in terms of content and following
- I was also gearing up for the A2Z challenge and needed to work out the details since it would be my first one.
I followed the Blogchatter WritFest sessions and came out with quite some insights.
- The first session with Aditya
- He spoke about fact finding and creative distortion. Incidentally when I wrote my partition-based stories for the A2Z challenge, these tips came in quite handy.
- I also agree on his comments about sources and resources and being a doctor who has also dabbled in research, I couldn’t agree more.
- The second session with Samarpita
- Her emphasis on self-editing goes well with my own belief.
- Being a grammar Nazi, I am quite particular and her session enforced my own ideology.
- And of course, the beta readers are an asset. Positive feedback is an ego booster but honest nay sayers are the ones we should keep close.
- The sessions with Dipankar Mukherjee, Anand Neelkantan and Chitra Divakaruni were useful as they spoke from their own experiences.
- I especially enjoyed Kanchana Banerjee’s talk about rejections and rewriting manuscripts for the publishers.
- Peddling your stuff is something I am very conscious about. Kiran Manral’s words on smart marketing would soon be put to test as I ready my e book.
I have often been asked what I write about and I still cannot answer that question with precision. That is one aspect I am still struggling with, finding my calling and narrowing down on the niche that I should be writing upon. I need more time for that, I believe.
After Andaleeb Wajid’s post, I am trying to be regular and more disciplined. And the A2Z challenge ensured that too.
I am quite glad that I have taken up this course and I cannot reiterate enough the role that A2Z challenge has played in my writing journey. I am discovering my strengths and weaknesses and looking forward to the creative writing prompts in June that should help me put my skills to test.
-Dr. Shivani Salil