call for ideas: themed work parties

In the new year, ONI will be re-tooling our work parties a bit. You’ll still be able to find us around town, to sit with your peers in a public space to work and boost your productivity. But we’re looking at adding a new twist, about once a week: a themed work party.

Who Else Has A Bright Idea?If you’re looking for more than just working in parallel in a space outside your home office, these themed work parties might be for you. To help independent content producers stay focused and make the most of 2011 — and granted, to help attract new folks out to ONI’s work parties — we’ll offer various topics at these themed work parties.

We’re kicking around possible topics now, for example:

  • Brainstorm story ideas: Spend 10-15 minutes writing down as many story ideas (even the crazy ones) as you can, then narrow down the list or prioritize the ideas and spend the rest of the session fleshing these out and starting to do background research.
  • Brainstorm story angles/markets: Bring a story idea you’ve had trouble pitching (or an assignment you’ve already written), and use the time to brainstorm new angles on the same story for new markets.
  • Get that pitch out: Bring a story pitch you’re struggling with. Work on it. You don’t get to leave until you’ve sent it out.
  • Goals: Spend the time working on goals for the month/six months/year. Make the goals actionable, measurable, etc. with deadlines for completion.
  • Book proposal day: Spend the work party on the elements of your book proposal, and researching where to send it.
  • Online presence: Spend the work party better organizing your online portfolio/website/etc.
  • Dream markets: Spend 10-15 minutes making a list of your “dream markets” — outlets you’d love to write for, but haven’t worked with yet. Then spend the rest of the time researching these markets to find out what they’re looking for, how best to break in, what their lead times are, etc.
  • Admin: The part most of us hate to do, so it languishes…. Spend at least part of the work party making sure your invoicing and accounting are up-to-date.

What else would you like to tackle in 2011 at an ONI work party? We’re open to suggestions.

These themed work parties will be held on a regular basis — probably on Fridays, when it’s typically more difficult to get editors and sources on the phone, but when you still want to keep your focus on being productive.

(Creative Commons photo by nhuisman)

Posted in writing & publishing.

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