Isa Does It…with Words at Vida Vegan Con!

Writer’s Block and I have been mortal enemies for nearly three decades now.  When that mean and amoral bastard rears his ugly head I feel as frustrated as Sisyphus. Oh sure, there are days when I can plow through my work without a hitch and finish whatever projects need to be completed.  But sooner or later my digital boulder will resurface, stonewalling my drive and creativity with a vengeance. I’m a screenwriter by trade, so blogging does NOT come naturally to me, and writers block is more prevalent with this genre than any lousy script I’ve ever written.

When we found out that Isa Moskowitz was going to offer a writer’s block workshop at the year’s Vida Vegan Con,  Mac and I were amped and quickly signed up. Isa, who’s the author of such books as Vegan With a Vengeance, Vegan Pie in the Sky and the upcoming, Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week, is one of my all-time favorite cookbook authors and someone who I’ve always admired.  Naturally my excitement was soon doused when I remembered that we actually had to write stuff then and there! Oy vey! My nerves got the best of me right up to the time we arrived at the workshop.

The workshop was held at the Crumbpacker Family Library at Portland Art Museum, which seemed as if it was once a theater of some kind. After gathering us up and arranging our seating in a large circle (eye-contact being inevitable!), Isa asked every participant what type of blog they have and what their difficulty was. She then recommended a great exercise that uses prompts (the topics varied greatly) to tap into your inner creative vegan self and put ideas onto parchment within a set time. Well, her suggestion worked… and how.  It didn’t take long for the bloggers to start scribbling down their thoughts and ideas. After several prompts some bloggers began to share what they wrote and are we glad they did.  People poured their hearts out and wrote very personal and inspiring prose; a few tears were shed for one moving piece in particular.

I found our tattooed blogging guru to be somewhat soft-spoken, funny, confident and inspiring; this included a gentle pat on my back for scribbling after the allotted time. She wisely reminded us to not post superfluous bullshit, but rather, material that matter to us bloggers and our audiences. Another perk from taking her mini class was her dubbing me my cool new moniker, “Bronx.”   I’m so glad we took this workshop. It turn out that wrote more in that 1 ½ hr than I usually do in a 2 days. This is epic! Isa may want to consider writing a book on blogging.

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8 Replies to “Isa Does It…with Words at Vida Vegan Con!”

  1. I was in your workshop Bronx! 🙂 I am glad to hear that I wasn't the only one nervous pre-writing workshop. Isa truly was great! I have been trying to use her free writing exercises before each blog post. I tend to keep my posts on the shorter side, but it definitely helps with organizing my thoughts.

  2. wow, that sounds really great! I don't struggle too much with writers block, but I do try to make sure that what I'm writing is of some interest – not too long, has some content, isn't boring… and I'm not sure that I succeed!

  3. Procrastination is a killer! I'm the opposite of “Bronx,” where I write a lot, don't finish and put things off. So, one of the things I'm going to do is put together a schedule for us…and myself. Between work, school and the blog, it can get pretty hectic.

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