Writing Seminars

Is it possible to expect too much from a free writing seminar?  Does that defeat the purpose of even attending?  After attending a free seminar last night, I would answer yes to both of those questions.  The seminar was the third in a series of four presented by the Utah Arts Council.  I did not attend the first two, but the third one was on “Creative Writers and the Web” and the announcement specifically mentioned literary blogs.  I decided to attend expecting that I would hear some tips I could use to improve my blog, and in that respect I was disappointed.  The only mention of blogs was simply a recommendation to start one.  We were given pages of references of online journals and websites to visit, yet not one listing was for a literary blog.  Personally I would have appreciated more advice on blogging and less demonstrating how an avatar can fly in Second Life, but that’s just me!  Which is really the point: my expectations tainted my impressions of the event.  I probably should have held lower expectations for a free seminar.  There are plenty of resources available for upgrading a literary blog which I can and will research without the assistance of three (likely uncompensated) panelists.  I did get some questions answered by the panelists, and I appreciate the Utah Arts Council for presenting these free seminars.  To their credit, the room was overflowing with 50+ people (that’s both the attendance as well as the average age of attendants).  And although I came away with nothing particularly useful to me as a writer, I did take away a couple of things I can use as a book buyer.  Did it meet my expectations?  No, but it clarified what my expectations reasonably ought to be, and that is a lesson that everyone needs from time to time!

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One Response to “Writing Seminars”

  1. One of my coworkers, an engineer type, expressed his theory on satisfaction in life as an equation. Satisfaction = Performance / Expectations. The key to increasing satisfaction is to lower expectations. Now I just have to get my wife on board with that theory!

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