By Neymat Raboobee
The 4 day Muslimah Writer’s Journey Online Summit was an experience, to say the least. Packed full with the advice of twenty three different writers, editors and publishers, there’s something for everyone no matter what stage they’re at in their writing journey- whether just starting, holding a finished manuscript or already published.
By virtue of being entirely online, attendees were treated to appearances by speakers from all corners of the globe, all with their own unique experiences and viewpoints towards the business of writing. The topics ranged from conquering self-doubt and finding one’s own writing voice to the merits of traditional, indie and self-publishing. The final day was devoted to tackling issues and challenges that already published authors face including social media, marketing and money management. As I said earlier, there really is something for everyone.
Some of my personal favourite talks were How to Write a Book in 90 Days, Harnessing the Power of Social Media and The Importance of Failure. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy and benefit from the other speakers, but these three were the ones that spoke to me personally. A special mention has to go to Sister Na’ima B. Robert’s opening talk. If I could sum it up in a cutesy catchphrase, it would be this: Start learning, start practising. Just start.
Something else that stood out to me was said by Sister Aishah Adams; that every one of us can ensure we leave something behind and that one of the best ways to preserve something is to write it down. Many of the talks included notes created by the speaker which was particularly helpful in emphasising what they intended to be the most important takeaways from their talks, and worked as quick summaries of the usually 20-30 minute presentations.
I especially enjoyed the interactive nature of the summit. Several of the talks were conducted as interviews between the speaker and host Sister Na’ima B. Robert which was an interesting addition. A Facebook group was created specifically for attendees and it allowed them to voice their opinions and communicate their confusion or queries. Any technical issues that attendees found themselves facing were quickly resolved by the sisters monitoring the group and it became a place for attendees to report the progress they’d made after listening to talks and beginning to implement the advice and tips given.
The summit was well planned to try and ensure that attendees weren’t fatigued by an over-abundance of information. Access to each day’s videos was unlocked at 06:00 GMT which allowed one to set their own watching schedule. In addition to this, the Facebook group released the links in a staggered fashion which allowed for some time to catch your breath.
The one drawback of having the Facebook group so integrated into the experience of the summit was the requirement of using an account or losing out on three videos that were included in the programme. It’s possible that the organizers were forced to use Facebook as the platform because of the Live format, but it could perhaps have been communicated a little better.
On the negative side, and I say this with much respect to the organisers and their efforts, was the overload of information crammed into such a small space of time- twenty four speakers in twenty three videos that total up to over twelve hours (yes, I added it up) is a lot to process in such a short period of time. Re-watching is a must.
The Summit may be over and free access to the knowledge shared will soon end but there’s still the option of purchasing lifetime access once it all ends. The organizers have offered two tiers of All-Access passes: Gold and Platinum which come with three and six months subscription to the Muslimah Writer’s Academy respectively.
Anyone considering making the purchase would be benefited by taking a trip over to the website and having a look at the bios of each one of the speakers to help you decide.