Writing Box Subscription!

The Idea for the Writing Box

When I started Plot Duckies, I wanted to find a way to help as many creative writers as possible. Events are great, but I wanted to do more.

I was looking for help on running an idea hack session for my business. Turns out ABQID runs idea hack sessions! It’s like a brainstorming session only better. (I’ll create another post about how old fashion brainstorming isn’t the best way to come up with new ideas.)

For this session, it was TJ Cook, two target customers, and me. We ended up with some amazing ideas and two of those ideas came out on top.

One of those ideas, a writing box. A subscription box that would have helpful and fun things for creative writers. Wow, I love that idea!

The writer subscription box

Now I’m running with the box idea. What I’ve done so far:

  • I created a survey for input on what people might like, as well as what issues I could help them with.
  • I’ve created the first prototype of the box.
  • I’ve done a ton of work on costs and pricing.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_gallery gallery_ids=”1104,1103,1105,1106,1107,1095″ fullwidth=”on” show_title_and_caption=”on” show_pagination=”on” background_layout=”light” auto=”off” hover_overlay_color=”rgba(255,255,255,0.9)” caption_all_caps=”off” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

[/et_pb_gallery][et_pb_text background_layout=”light” use_border_color=”off” text_font_size=”18″ text_text_color=”#000000″ text_font=”Raleway||||” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” background_size=”initial” _builder_version=”3.0.91″]

What Comes in the Box

This is what I’ve narrowed it down to:

Box 1:

  1. Chapter 1 of “Feed Your Creative Writer” A how-to on creativity,
  2. Welcome card with access to private Slack group and information on what to do with everything in the box.
  3. Fun 8 1/2 X 11 notebook,
  4. Dividers for your notebook,
  5. How-to outline your novel, and getting started
  6. A fun pen,
  7. A five-minute timer,
  8. and a plot duckie.
  9. There’s even a discount code for the writing platform Scrivener!

I’ll also use the pain points of the first five Beta testers to add additional items to the box so it’s as helpful as possible.

Future boxes all include a new chapter of how-to on creativity, a notebook (various sizes), a pen, a helpful outline or information on a writing topic like questions to ask your characters. I’ll also be on the lookout for coupons and great deals on things writers love.

Box 2 will specifically include a workbook on finding time to write. Members of the Slack group can let me know what they’d like to see in upcoming boxes.

The price will probably be $25 a month plus shipping.

What I learned creating the prototype

  • I really, really wanted to include a fun mug, but I found it would make the subscription too expensive (Darn it!) I might offer it as an add-in or a one-time order. Why? Because I love shopping and I’ve found some cool mugs.
  • That there are a few ways to set-up a subscription plan and some want more money than others to do all the hard work in the background.

Where I’m going

The best option I’ve found: Adding Woocommerce to my website and purchasing their subscription piece. Luckily, I’m familiar with WordPress and adding Woocommerce shouldn’t be too difficult. However, it means taking some time to learn, purchase an SSL certificate, etc.

So, as soon as I have everything set-up, I’ll have it connected to this website!

If you want a Writer Box Subscription

It’s all ready! I’m looking for 5 beta testers that will get the box at a discount. Send me a message through the website, and I’ll get back to you with the code. The box is live at yourstoryinabox.com

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_code]<!– Begin MailChimp Signup Form –> <link href=”//cdn-images.mailchimp.com/embedcode/horizontal-slim-10_7.css” rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css”> <style type=”text/css”> #mc_embed_signup{background:#FCFDB9; clear:left; font:14px Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; width:100%;} /* Add your own MailChimp form style overrides in your site stylesheet or in this style block. We recommend moving this block and the preceding CSS link to the HEAD of your HTML file. */ </style> <div id=”mc_embed_signup”> <form action=”https://sonjadewing.us11.list-manage.com/subscribe/post?u=6fec3cf9e1f93a8e6dd6b45a5&id=3a47368eb7″ method=”post” id=”mc-embedded-subscribe-form” name=”mc-embedded-subscribe-form” class=”validate” target=”_blank” novalidate> <div id=”mc_embed_signup_scroll”> <label for=”mce-EMAIL”>Sign up for creative writing ideas and updates on events!</label> <input type=”email” value=”” name=”EMAIL” class=”email” id=”mce-EMAIL” placeholder=”email address” required> <!– real people should not fill this in and expect good things – do not remove this or risk form bot signups–> <div style=”position: absolute; left: -5000px;” aria-hidden=”true”><input type=”text” name=”b_6fec3cf9e1f93a8e6dd6b45a5_3a47368eb7″ tabindex=”-1″ value=””></div> <div class=”clear”><input type=”submit” value=”Subscribe” name=”subscribe” id=”mc-embedded-subscribe” class=”button”></div> </div> </form> </div> <!–End mc_embed_signup–>[/et_pb_code][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Creative Thinking could be one Long Night Away

I love finding new research on creativity and creative thinking! There’s so much out there to know and I want to make sure to share it with you.

This latest from Scientific America suggests that we can be more creative when we’re tired. That might lend well to the whole idea of things like the National Novel in a Month, when writers take the month of November to write 50,000 words. Many of those writers are full-time workers and end up writing into the night or early morning, losing some sleep along the way.

But how does this help you? Working on that novel or short story? Schedule an early morning or late night, at a time you know you’ll be a little tired, and start writing. Give yourself a writing sprint for 5 or 10 minutes and go from there.

Did you try this? How did it work for you? I’d love to know! Please comment or email with your input!

Have a great creative writing day!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Decision Made! First Event at Hotel Parq Central

[et_pb_section admin_label=”section”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”https://plotduckies.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Albuquerque-Hyatt.jpg” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” animation=”off” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]
[/et_pb_image][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”https://plotduckies.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Hotel-Parq-Central.jpg” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” animation=”off” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]
[/et_pb_image][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”https://plotduckies.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Hotel-Parq-Central2.jpg” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” animation=”off” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]
[/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”2_3″][et_pb_text admin_label=” ” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” text_font=”Raleway||||” text_font_size=”18″]

I was reserving this next blog for my review of the Albuquerque Hyatt. However, after visiting I realized what a terrible idea that was. The whole reasoning behind the event is to get out of the norm of a conference, and the Hyatt, well, it’s pretty normal (as per that first picture on the left)

So, I’ve narrowed the event down to one place  – the Hotel Parq Central. Possibly haunted (although no official sightings), definitely comfortable, and definitely a little different. We’ll have our own building to start with (for the first nine who sign up).

I’m currently pricing out the four-day event, hiring on a couple of published authors, looking at pulling in some student ambassadors and using my skills as an instructional designer to pull together an educational, fun, and helpful writer’s event.

If you are a writer in the earlier stages of your writing (i.e. you want to get published but you don’t feel your work is there yet), or if you’re an established writer, but want to explore new ideas – Then consider marking off your calendar for Nov 9-13 and to making it to Albuquerque.

More to come soon!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Checking Out Another Writing Conference Location

[et_pb_section admin_label=”section”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”https://plotduckies.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/IMG_9198.jpg” show_in_lightbox=”on” url_new_window=”off” animation=”off” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]
[/et_pb_image][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”https://plotduckies.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/IMG_9183.jpg” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” animation=”off” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]
[/et_pb_image][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”https://plotduckies.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/IMG_9186.jpg” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” animation=”off” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]
[/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”2_3″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” text_font=”Raleway||||” text_font_size=”18″]

Another hotel I wanted to check for my writing conference (aka Write. Learn. Play. event) in Albuquerque was Hotel Andaluz. It was built and opened by Conrad Hilton in 1939 as the first hotel in Albuquerque and was renovated in 2008.

Previous Experience

I had been here before for an event. This was back when I volunteered to do some writer work for the Creative Startups accelerator program. I liked working in this space and felt it might do well for creative writers.

The positives

I was greeted by Sheila who showed me around to talk about the hotel.  The mezzanine and their library are freely available for anyone to relax and work, the rooms are very nice, and it’s within walking distance to restaurants and downtown. I could easily imagine myself sitting in one of the big leather chairs, writing a short story.

The not so positives

The casitas here (the little rooms in the lobby) are so cool, but they use them as their bar area, as well as the outdoor space that’s available, so drink purchases would be required to work in either of those spaces. The music throughout the hotel open space was pretty loud, although I was told reluctantly that we could ask to have it turned down.

Also, I’ve worked with event planning and training events for many years, so having someone say to me in a serious manner, “Well, make sure you don’t schedule it over Thanksgiving” struck me as a bit condescending.

One more location to check

Hmmm… Well, I have one more place to check out. The Hyatt Albuquerque. I know, it’s just a Hyatt. It doesn’t have a historic or Albuquerque vibe, but I want to give the big place a chance. Soon I’ll make my decision!

If you want to keep up to date on upcoming events and creative ideas, feel free to sign up for duckiemail below.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_code admin_label=”Code” saved_tabs=”all”]<!– Begin MailChimp Signup Form –> <link href=”//cdn-images.mailchimp.com/embedcode/horizontal-slim-10_7.css” rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css”> <style type=”text/css”> #mc_embed_signup{background:#fff; clear:left; font:14px Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; width:100%;} /* Add your own MailChimp form style overrides in your site stylesheet or in this style block. We recommend moving this block and the preceding CSS link to the HEAD of your HTML file. */ </style> <div id=”mc_embed_signup”> <form action=”//BoxofBrainy.us11.list-manage.com/subscribe/post?u=6fec3cf9e1f93a8e6dd6b45a5&id=6e5942867b” method=”post” id=”mc-embedded-subscribe-form” name=”mc-embedded-subscribe-form” class=”validate” target=”_blank” novalidate> <div id=”mc_embed_signup_scroll”> <label for=”mce-EMAIL”>Sign up for twice a month Duckiemail</label> <input type=”email” value=”” name=”EMAIL” class=”email” id=”mce-EMAIL” placeholder=”email address” required> <!– real people should not fill this in and expect good things – do not remove this or risk form bot signups–> <div style=”position: absolute; left: -5000px;” aria-hidden=”true”><input type=”text” name=”b_6fec3cf9e1f93a8e6dd6b45a5_6e5942867b” tabindex=”-1″ value=””></div> <div class=”clear”><input type=”submit” value=”Subscribe” name=”subscribe” id=”mc-embedded-subscribe” class=”button”></div> </div> </form> </div> <!–End mc_embed_signup–>[/et_pb_code][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]