About the Creative:
Based in Manitoba, Canada, Doreen Pendgracs has been a professional freelance writer since 1993. She is currently working on her 4th book, “Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate.” Connect with Doreen via her website at www.wizardofwords.net where you can read her full bio and link to her two blogs, Facebook page, Twitter account and LinkedIn profile.
What does an average day look like for you in your creative career?
I generally attend to domestic chores and catch up on social media in the morning and begin writing by around 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. I usually skip lunch or just have a smoothie and some almonds at my desk, because once I get started, I don’t want to take an hour out to eat. After dinner, I’ll generally spend a bit more time on my social networks.
How did you get to where you are now in your career? What key moments, decisions or circumstances brought you here?
I think that networking played a very important role in my progression. Shortly after I began freelancing, I joined the Professional Writers Assn of Canada, and then the Travel Media Assn of Canada. Those two networks have been important in helping me make the right connections to move forward in my career and catch wind of important opportunities. They’ve also provided me with mentors and allowed me to mentor emerging writers.
What excites you most about your work?
Being able to express my passions for writing, for fascinating people, travel, and now chocolate! My upcoming book, “Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate,” has kept me busy for the past three years and I’m sure that it will keep me busy for years to come, as it is a series of three volumes.
What is its greatest challenge for you?
Making myself known. As I live in rural Manitoba on the Canadian Prairies, I’m not immediately connected to a large literary or business network with opportunities for in-person events. That’s why I regularly attend conferences. They get me in the same room with mentors, influencers, and professional development opportunities that help me move forward in my career.
How do you get your best ideas?
Again, I’d say that attending conferences has been really great for me. At the last conference I attended for book authors, we bantered around sub-titles for my book. The input I got from my fellow authors was and always is invaluable.
What do you do when you get stuck?
I’m fortunate in that my professional memberships come with access to listservs and online forums of colleagues across the country on which we can ask questions and get instant feedback. Anytime you need an answer, encouragement or just want to talk about writing, you can get a response within minutes! I also love Twitter for that same reason.
How do you make sure you make time for creativity in your life?
It is part of who I am. I am a natural communicator, so writing is just an extension of that. I write in a conversational style in which readers feel like I’m speaking directly to them. I like that, as it’s easier to get feedback from your audience when they feel like you’re speaking directly to them.
What advice do you have for other aspiring creatives who want to follow in your footsteps?
Join groups! Being a solitary writer will usually impair you. It will hamper your progression and leave you without valuable feedback on your strategies, your work, and your goals.