Today (being Sunday) for the first time ever I went to a workshop for writing. This is the workshop I didn’t attend earlier in the year because of sick children and generally being overwhelmed at the time. I wasn’t really sure what to expect except for it to focus on writing somehow. So off I went, filled with enthusiasm and armed with pens and an A4 notebook as Louise, the lady running the workshop, requested. (Important note: I’m not going into detail about the workshop if you want to know more go to Louise’s website at this link)
What a treat was waiting for me. For starters, the workshop went for 3 hours and for me this was a decent block of time to go and do something for myself. It’s neither too long nor too short, running that fine line between guilt for leaving my children and the joy of going off and focusing on something just for me.
Secondly it reintroduced me to writing prompts. This was something half remembered from high school where you were assigned a picture and had to write about it. Well there are different kinds of writing prompts, who freaking knew! I certainly bloody well didn’t. The first prompt was simply a given amount of time to write, the second a picture like I’d half remembered from high school and the third a guided meditation. Interestingly my writing was pretty different for each prompt. I started writing a diary, moved to a story and finished with an almost poem (I say almost because I ran out of time). My handwriting was also messier for the first 2 compared to the guided meditation prompt.
By the end of it I was pretty impressed. I had accomplished new writing but I had also learnt new techniques to get me to write. I’ve tried the set time thing before (I do 10 minute blocks when I’m finding it hard to write, somehow the timer ticking down kicks my creative juices into high gear) and I can see how picture prompts and meditation can work if you are stuck for ideas. But that is not what I really got out of it, it was the breaking down of a moment (like a picture) and putting it into writing. This had me focusing on details and how to paint it in the reader’s mind. I was learning the basics of showing and not telling, something I’m determined to learn more of.
Finally, it reinvigorated my love of writing, not that it went away, but this workshop certainly increased it. And for that I’m thankful. So if you are thinking of going to a workshop and are unsure if you will benefit, do it! Even if you learn one thing, that one thing may just be important 🙂
P.S. That competition I was entering last week? Yeah, I left it too late, turns out I need a decent amount of time in between drafts to be able to edit properly. Live and learn I guess.