I listened, I learned and I sat among the literary this past weekend in NYC, as I enjoyed my first American Society of Journalists and Authors Conference (ASJA). There were so many editors and authors. There were newbies like me trying to break into the profession. There were accomplished authors who have written many books. There were social workers and doctors who want to write a book someday. There were bloggers (like me) and social media wizards. They were all smart, enlightened and so full of writing wisdom. Their passion for the written word, whether online or in print, was inspiring.
So who did I meet and what did I learn? Do you wanna know? Do ya? Do ya? Do ya?
Okay, some new news that may be of interest to boomer girls:
– I met the Beauty Editor at MORE magazine, Genevieve Monsama. MORE targets our age group and Genevieve said that their stories often include the psychological component of aging. She said that women 40+ want to look good for their age. (I agree and hope that one day I can have a bylined article in MORE. They look for writers who are 35+ and who can weave stories with personal experiences. Will have to think about a beauty story I can pitch.)
– I met Senior Associate editor of AARP magazine, Lesley Wooldridge. Do you know that this magazine has a circulation of 35 million? They produce separate editions for those 50+, 60+ and 70+. Lesley says that AARP readers like to feel great, save money and have fun. They are vibrant active people. (Know wonder I like this magazine. I am the target market. Are you an AARP member? You should be if you are 50+. I know so many people who resist joining AARP when they turn 50. I don’t know why. You get good benefits and if you are a magazine-aholic like me, you get AARP magazine included with your membership.)
– I listened to “The Happiness Project” author Gretchen Rubin at Friday’s luncheon. Gretchen encouraged writers to enjoy the fun of failure. “That’s part of moving forward. The danger of doing nothing is worse than trying and failing,” she said. “Remind yourself how happy you are to be doing what you’re doing.” To motivate us more, Gretchen quoted the author Harlen Coben, who said “No one has to fail for me to succeed.” (Gretchen is so right, I am happy when I am writing my blog. And I can’t wait to start writing my book, especially after receiving tips on my book proposal during a one-on-one mentor session with author and former agent Lisa Cool.)
– I met Sondra Forsyth, Senior Editor of ThirdAge.com. Sondra is a writer and a former ballerina. More than four million people read ThirdAge.com, which has a lot of great health and wellness content for boomers. You should check it out.
I closed out this wonderful ASJA conference among the standing room only crowd at Columbia University ‘s Graduate School of Journalism Professor Sree Sreenivasan’s session on Social Media 2012. Prof Sree is a technology expert and shared a great clip with us from the Today Show when the worldwide web and the internet were hardly part of people’s vocabulary. It reminded me of how much our lives have changed in the past 15 years and about how much more will likely change in the next 15 years.
Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Foursquare, Tumblr, Instagram…what will be next? How does anyone keep up with it all in a 24 hour day? I guess there is not time for sleep. Menopausal women don’t sleep anyway.
Tweet, tweet, tweet….oh, to be a writer…it’s all so exciting.