About a month ago, I joined a brand new writing workshop group. Remember when I said like seven months ago that, when I moved, I wanted to find something like this? Well, it’s taken me this long.
My latest video is about the logistics of creating such a group of your own. Think of it as a checklist for the expectations and ground rules you need to establish, plus a quick guide to how many writing workshops, collegiate and otherwise, operate.
I talked about writing because that’s what I know, but this could apply as well to drawing and painting, film, academic writing, etc.
Here are seven reasons you need to start your own workshop:
1. Writers need community too
So much of the creative process is solitary for writers and other artists. Commiserating and celebrating with your fellow writer-beings can take the edge off your existential loneliness for an hour or two.
2. That last paragraph you wrote is not as great as you think it is
3. Your story is not as awful as you think it is
Of course you hate it; you’ve been hanging out with the same stupid characters trying to get them to do the same tired plot for the last six months. New readers will (hopefully) experience that joy you did when you started the project in the first place.
4. When else do you get to read work by your peers?
I mean unless all of your friends are part of the literati, you probably don’t get to read many things in their original, un-published state. It’s refreshing to see that no piece of art is perfect when you first make it.
5. Train your critical eye
Dissecting why another piece of writing works or doesn’t will help you do the same on your own work.
6. They hold you accountable
For getting shit done, for avoiding clichés and other lazy writing, for not dancing around the issue you’re trying to address and diving into the epicenter of your topic. For holding nothing back.
Never underestimate the power of a good old kick in the pants. Students, you don’t know how blessed you are to have these evil little devices built into your curriculum. The rest of need to create them for ourselves.
Are you all a part of any sort of workshop? Has anyone found success making their own as part of that post-grad life? Lemme know in the comments!