Blog, Writing

Writer’s Workshops


Day 205

I have been thinking about attending a writer’s workshop and honestly, I am struggling with whether or not to attend. All my close family members are very encouraging and supportive but I am not sure it is worth the cost. I am extremely interested in any input or feedback on your experiences with writing workshops.

This event is a small 8 person workshop being held at Edisto Beach, South Carolina. A house has been rented near the beach. The event spans four days and is from what I gather there will be time to get together for discussions twice and day during which there will be sharing and advice. The remaining time is set aside for writing. Now, writing at the beach sounds delightful to me, but I’m not sure of the value for the cost.

There is also a one day conference hosted by the North Carolina Writer’s Network in November. The cost is much more reasonable and the conference will be held closer to home. I would have the opportunity to select from multiple tracks and even attend Master Classes (which I may not be ready for) or submit an excerpt to a slush pile to be read and evaluated by editors. Some of this sounds frightening, but it is more geared toward lectures and possible feedback from well-established authors and editors.

Now, I know I am staring down my ego that is telling me I cannot do this. I know I need to take a leap, but I am struggling on which leap if I am only able to select one. I am not really looking for someone to answer that question for me, I know that is completely up to me. But since I am out of my element, I would love it if anyone had any experiences to share.

This is where my head is tonight and I think I’m going to go meditate for a bit and see if I can clear out a few cobwebs around this decision-making.

Tomorrow we drive up to Spruce Mountain, NC to attend Fire on the Mountain – a day of blacksmithing and forging demonstrations and education. It is an event we attend every year – it’s hubby’s thing, but I do love to snap pictures of the events and the drive is simply beautiful. We may have the opportunity to buy some ramps on the way home, too. Eggs and ramps Sunday morning! Here are a couple of pictures from last year:

Jason Knight
Jason Knight, Forged in Fire Judge
Smelting Demonstration
Ramps, cleaned and ready to cook

21 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshops”

  1. Dear Maggie, Other than taking a trip together with the hubby for fun, I don’t think this kind of thing is worth the money honestly. You are already an excellent writer, and nothing is going to turn you into one if you take it. What will turn you into an excellent writer is to just write. You can get people to read your manuscript for free, and the thing is that attending a writing course just makes you write in the style of others. Be true to yourself for you are a wonderful person and if you can write as well as you do for your blog, and you have a good number of readers, get some of them to read your writing. I would do that for free and give you good feedback. And I know there are a lot of others who would too. So trust in yourself as a writer and don’t go off-course taking an expensive course in writing. You are one of the enjoyable writers I really like. Try the free way to getting your writing read first, and if people don’t give you good feedback, it may mean that you are meant to write in a certain genre. You may be good in one kind of writing, but if you feel you have to force yourself to write, or need to take courses to determine your value as a writer, that is the wrong direction. Just trust yourself as I noted, and if you are afraid, ask yourself why. A lot of people are not so fearful of failure as they are of success.

    Take a nice vacation with your hubby if you want to, but trust yourself as an excellent writer for sure in nonfiction. Are you trying to write in a different genre than you have written before? Of have you written something and want critiquing? I know ways to get that from a teacher online who is great and doesn’t charge an arm and a leg.

    I may be the only person who discourages you, and I hope not, but I know from my own experience that the truly best way is to trust yourself, and if you are not ready to delve into writing a book, could you write short articles to start out? Like I said, courses like these teach you to write like other writers, and you need to write like you. I read your posts regularly because I believe you put your soul into it, and it shows.

    You are a wonderful writer, and I appreciate your writing always. Give yourself a chance. When taking a class makes you feel as though suddenly inadequate, believe me, it is not what you want or need. Test your writing for free with real readers. I wish you the best in your endeavors, and I think you already have all you need to write.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I am not a writer but I have always loved reading and your writing, to me, is always so ” comfortable and warm.”
      I think everything Anne said makes total sense!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thank you, Nancy, but I beg to differ with you. I do recall some wonderful pieces you wrote in our now defunct writing group. I have much to consider, I think.


    2. Anne, thank you for your feedback. I appreciate all that you had to say and it has given me much to consider. I am one of those people that does not like to ask for help so maybe that is something I need to work on. I am going to mull this over through the weekend and let you know what I have decided.

      Thank you for being a dedicated reader of my blog. It means more than you realize. Hope you have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Maggie, my advice to you (AKA my 2 cents) is to meditate on it. Listen to your gut. If you are fearful of just the cost then it deserves more attention. If you fear you won’t get enough out of it then it is a no go. If you feel other avenues might be more in your comfort zone then listen to that part of you. Basically I guess I am saying you already know the answer and you just need to listen to your inner voice. You are so wise and you won’t lead yourself in the wrong direction.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Lakshmi, thank you for reading my blog and commenting. I went to your blog and you have an amazing light around you which I welcome. I will take the next two days to think through my decision and come back to let everyone know what I decided. I hope to see you here again.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Easy answer: if you had to choose right now, this minute, which one would you pick? No more debating – your heart already knows.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think both would be good experiences, but I agree with Anne. You’re already an excellent writer, so that’s not the reason to go to either. The conference would be more about the “nuts and bolts” of being a practicing writer (in my experience), whereas the workshop sounds more like inspiration, and “you” time, depending on the other participants. All good energy to you around your writing projects!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lisa, I think much of it is to get to know fellow writers, the November conference is the one you mentioned to me. I like the perspective of energy. I will put it aside for today, but I think I have my answer.


  5. First, let me add to the list of folks who enjoy your writing. I’ve never been to a writer’s workshop. I took some creative writing classes when I was much younger (but after college) and I didn’t like being forced out of my element. Listening to presentations, meeting other writers, perhaps validating some of the things you already feel, could all be worth it. I guess that would put me in the November event.

    On the other hand, if I could strap myself to your roof, I’d go to the blacksmith even in a heartbeat. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was thinking about a year when I taught a creative writing class in San Pedro, CA. It was quite awhile ago, but I remember it clearly. The first evening, the students all came in looking to find something really exciting to write about that was going to turn them into creative writers. But my teaching is rather different. So for their first assignment, I asked them to describe a pencil. All of their faces fell and I could see that most of them were thinking they would not come back. They put their pencils to paper most unenthusiastically and I think I heard a few sighs.

    Now, if you would like to see what came of it, you will have to hop on over to my blog, to hear “the rest of the story.” I will put it up today. Thank you Maggie and all.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I hope you found some good food for thought here in your comments. I can see the merits of points made from both sides. You’re a good writer with a clear voice. Your self-doubt shouldn’t be a factor here. The other writers would be lucky to have you as well. Maybe your ego needs the boost of being told that elsewhere? Not sure. Best use of time and money? Not sure.

    Ramps? YES PLEASE. Of that, I am certain 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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