It seems like every time I'm checking my email, I'm being inundated with advertisements for writing workshops. I managed to take a few, but mostly I deleted them without hesitation. This year, I've already taken two and I'm planning on taking another next month. I just haven't decided which one as of post date. So why the big change in attitude regarding workshops?
Reason #1: Accountability I'm the first to admit I have a crazy life but if I know there's an assignment due, my inner Catholic school training kicks in and the assignment gets done. Mentally, I'm transported back to high school where Sister Mary Ignatius is waiting for me,ruler in hand, to give it in. Thank goodness nowadays rulers don't reach across cyberspace if you blow it off, but Sister Mary may still know where I live.
Reason #2: Paying Means Playing I'm not loaded in the money department. These days we're all holding on tight to our sawbucks. So buying a workshop and =not= participating defeats the bulk of what I'm paying for: critique. Feedback is the payoff of any good workshop. Even if it isn't a super in-depth analysis because of class size or teacher time constraints, chances are you'll discover something new about your process. Incorporating that something into your WIP can give you awesome results.
Reason #3: Working the WIP Whatever the workshop, I'm working my WIP. If I'm taking a dialogue workshop then every assignment I post is from my current story. I do write new because it's also about creating and learning through the act of creating. But everything I'm doing, I'm applying directly to my story. I want double duty. If you're teaching me how to use dialogue to move your story forward, then you better believe I'm using that right NOW.
So far, this has worked for me. A year ago, maybe not. But if you're looking for a little kickstart, a workshop might just be the thing.
Or I can sent Sister Mary Ignatius over with her ruler.