Workshops will help you craft words to speak to the reader
Those who want to improve their persuasive writing skills and make their writing more impactful can participate in Rusti L Lehay’s free writing workshops this October.
Lehay has been a creative writing instructor and editor for many years. Driven by a passion for editing memoirs and sharing stories, she specializes in bringing a heart-centred approach to help authors get the essence of their writing across to the reader. “The pen is mightier than the therapist,” Lehay says. “Some issues may become clear on a person’s journal pages without ever seeing a therapist. Word limits pose a challenge to most writers. Successful writing is not about writing concisely. It is more to do with the ability to write within set limits and yet being able to have an effect on your audience.”
She conducts worldwide workshops for aspiring writers, authors, and public speakers. “Some people have great ideas. But by not being able to speak within an allotted time, many fail to get their message across,” she remarks. Due to the pandemic situation and the need to physically distance, the two workshops will be virtual sessions over Zoom. Each workshop will be two hours long and includes a Q & A session. Participation is free.
The first workshop on Oct. 7 will focus on pitching ideas and keeping a story journal. Participants will also learn to write concisely yet creatively within word count limits and focus on the main theme of the article.
Lehay explains a story journal “is about keeping track of your inspiration and experiences. Inspiration lands in funny ways, and ideas come and flit away. When you record ideas and note your experiences, you know what to write about.” In fact, her all-time favourite quote is one by American satirical writer, Peter De Vries: “I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at nine o’clock every morning.”
“Past experiences often become invaluable resources in the future,” she laughs.
The second workshop on Oct. 21 will focus on how to make ideas interesting by using personal experiences and link them in a unique way to present day situations.
“It is just not about the facts,” points out Lehay. “People relate to people. Facts are brought alive by personal experiences. The more you relate facts to a real-life story, the likelier your audience will be engaged and the more you increase the chances of gaining an impact through your words.”
This holds true for interview-based articles, too. “Most of the time, it is only at the end when you are wrapping up that the interviewee opens up and narrates a personal experience that complements the main theme. Always listen and be mindful of key information.”
Writing about ideas is one thing, but impacting others through your ideas is totally different. “It is a skill,” concludes Lehay. “As writers, we have a responsibility to educate others and bring about social change and justice.” Learn more about Rusti Lehay at www.rustilehay.ca.
Oct. 7, 6:30-8:30 pm
Oct. 21, 6:30-8:30 pm
Featured Image: Rusti guides writers to open up to what their story is and the most authentic way for them to share it. | Kersti Niglas