A Cafe Chat with Goodjelly Founder Christine Carron, by Rona Shirdan

Need help boosting your creative output? Managing time for your writing or illustrating? Taking charge of your own creative journey? Check out our first webinar of the new year, “Take Charge of Your Creative Adventure,” led by process improvement maven Christine Carron. This webinar will be sure to turn your New Year’s Resolutions for writing and illustrating into results. Then, as conference season approaches, be sure to check out our second webinar with Christine Carron in April, “Power Up Your Conference Experience.” In preparation for these webinars, our Co-Regional Advisor Rona Shirdan had a chat with Christine at our virtual EasternPennPoints café. Check it out!

A Café Chat with Goodjelly Founder Christine Carron, by Rona Shirdan

Rona: Hi, Christine! Thanks for joining me in our EasternPennPoints virtual café. I love this place! I’m going to try a caramel latte and an almond croissant. Let me know what you would like to eat and drink as we chat.

Christine: I’ll take the chocolate vegan cupcake and a cinnamon tea, please. Though once you get that in front of me, I may need a moment to refocus. That level of yum is going to be distracting. 

Rona: Can you tell us a little about Goodjelly and what brought you to create it?

Christine: Absolutely. It all got started at my first SCBWI conference in New York many years ago. A group of writers sitting nearby on a break were discussing challenges they were experiencing on the writing adventure. I’ve been a process improvement consultant and project manager for over twenty-five years, so whenever I hear anyone experiencing frustration about how something is working (or not), my ears perk up.

What struck me was that none of their struggles had anything to do with their writing or their craft. Instead, they were experiencing what I would call project management issues: managing work, managing mindset, managing time, etc. The thought that popped into my head was: the writing adventure doesn’t have to be so hard. That with a little process- and project-management know-how, writers could make their writing adventures so much easier. 

That notion eventually became the driving premise behind Goodjelly, and this month marks our two-year anniversary of helping writers create more ease, confidence, and consistent progress, i.e., get their writing done, using project management fabulosity. 

Rona: Congratulations on the anniversary! What are the Goodjelly principles, and what results can we expect when we apply them?

Christine: Thank you! I would say at the highest level that Goodjelly is about helping writers take charge of their Process, their Power, and their Perspective. Those are big concepts, but at the simplest level, I think of them like this: When a writer, or any creative, has a set of practices (Process) that aligns with how they like to work (Power) and is in charge of the tone (Perspective) of their creative adventure, everything gets easier

Will you still experience challenges, disappointments, and frustrations? Sure, but any challenge is more easily met when you are rocking your perfect mix of Process, Power, and Perspective. 

Rona: Ah, so that’s why both of your upcoming webinars have a thread related to POWER. 

Christine: Yes. In everything Goodjelly does, the goal is to return writers to themselves, to their inherent power and trust in themselves. It’s a powerful thing to stand in the clarity of This is right for me. This isn’t. Yet that can be challenging (and scary at times) for many writers, including me, to do. 

But when we don’t do that—when we don’t trust what is right for us (which will be completely different than what is right for another writer)—that makes the adventure harder. We end up doing things that we don’t want to do, such as staying in a critique group that is no longer serving us, and not doing things that we want to do, like a writer who doesn’t write the vampire book that they’ve wanted to write since forever because an article in Publisher’s Weekly said that vampire stories are so yesterday. 

From a Goodjelly perspective, Power is both the inner knowing that you actually matter on your writing adventure, and the inner oomph to take the actions needed to align with that truth. That’s when writers really start creating adventures that they love being on no matter what.

Oh my. Did I get too carried away there? I’m a bit passionate about all this stuff. 

Rona: I like it. It’s good stuff. Do your concepts apply to illustrators too?

Christine: Absolutely. They work for anyone on any kind of creative adventure. 

Rona: Your April webinar focuses on the conference experience. We now know that Goodjelly originated at an SCBWI conference, which is a fun note, but how do the Goodjelly concepts play into attending a conference?

Christine: Yes, regarding the fun SCBWI connection with Goodjelly’s origin story, which also makes this interview a lovely full circle moment as well. 

As to conferences, those are actually a hotbed of possibilities for applying Goodjelly principles. We make big financial and time commitments to attend, we want to get our money’s worth, to learn everything we can, to have fun, to make important connections, to network, to pitch, and . . . oh my, it’s a lot. And that’s without even diving into all the emotional components of a conference experience like nerves, imposter syndrome, the extra stress those types of social contexts pile on introverts, etc.  

That all means that the Goodjelly principles can be applied in a myriad of ways. Process, for example, will help you to digest all the new information and inspiration you’re taking in. Power will help you navigate the experience in a way that doesn’t overwhelm you. Perspective will help you balance the hope that something magical will happen, like getting a publishing deal on the spot, and the differently positive reality that “all” that might happen is that you grow as a writer or as an illustrator, make new connections, and are inspired to keep going. 

The conference presentation I’ll be delivering in April is actually one of my favorite ones to teach. The framework is really easy to apply and totally empowers folks to take charge of their learning experience. 

Rona: Are there any books that are currently helping you on your writing adventure? 

Christine: I am all over John Truby’s The Anatomy of Story and have been for a while now. Shoutout to Chris Tebbetts for recommending it to me. It took me a year to warm up to the process Truby outlines for crafting a story, but now that I have, I’m finding his approach extremely grounding and helpful. 

Rona: Thanks so much for spending time with us today. Before we close, what’s one fun thing you would like to share about yourself?

Christine: I once spent a month in Argentina dancing tango every day and every night until the wee hours of the morning. Fantabulous!

Rona: Excellent! Where can our readers learn more about you and Goodjelly?

Christine: Stop by at goodjelly.com. On Instagram @leagueofgoodjelly. If anyone wants a free audio lesson and worksheet on how to handle any block, get that here. Thanks so much!

Process improvement maven Christine Carron has helped individuals and teams function more effectively for over twenty-five years. Her clients call her The Wolf meets Mary Poppins due to the rigor, focus, and fun she brings to whatever she does. Christine writes middle grade and young adult fiction and is the founder of Goodjelly, where she helps creatives use process, power, and kindness to unleash their creative progress.

Webinar Information

January 17, 2023 at 7:00pm Eastern time:

Take Charge of Your Creative Adventure with Christine Carron

Session Description

Much of the creative adventure is out of a writer’s or illustrator’s control, which can often make the process feel daunting, overwhelming, and even demoralizing. Hello, fifty gazillionth rejection. There are, however, ways to move forward with more ease and confidence no matter the twists and turns your journey takes. 

In this webinar, you will learn the important difference between taking charge of your creative adventure and trying to control it. You will also discover how to stay centered in your creative power, rather than inadvertently giving it away. This webinar includes a presentation along with interactive and reflective activities. You will leave with a renewed sense of confidence and possibility for the adventure ahead. 

Who will get value from this webinar?

Writers and illustrators at any level will benefit from this webinar. Research has shown “that when people work with a positive mind-set, performance on nearly every level—productivity, creativity, engagement—improves.”* This webinar focuses on helping writers and illustrators maintain a positive mindset by staying centered in their creative power.

* Shawn Achor, Positive Intelligence, Harvard Business Review Magazine, Jan-Feb, 2012.

For more information and to register, go to https://epa.scbwi.org/events/take-charge-of-your-creative-adventure/.

April 20, 2023 at 7:00pm Eastern time:

Power-up Your Conference Experience with Christine Carron

Session Description

Do you have a tendency to go into overwhelm at conferences? Or perhaps you take reams of notes that you never refer to again? Or maybe you have the best intentions to integrate all the new ideas and techniques you learn but end up putting hardly any of them into practice? Maybe even none at all? Do you then feel guilty and frustrated, knowing you could have gotten more value and growth from your investment?

Enough with that. Let’s conference differently. In this webinar, you will learn Goodjelly’s Ground, Gather, Grow™ framework that you can use forevermore to power-up your conference learning experiences.

Who will get value from this webinar?

Writers and illustrators at any level will benefit from this webinar. The Ground, Gather, Grow™ framework will show you how to set yourself up for success before, during, and after a conference so that you get measurable and lasting value out of your conference investments. 

For more information and to register, go to https://epa.scbwi.org/events/webinar-power-up-your-conference-experience/

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