Novel Writing, Writers on Writing

Plugging in to your local writing scene

Creative writing class-fine arts center (40269...
Nothing freshens your perspective on your writing project like a lively workshop. | Creative writing class-fine arts center (402690951) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wrote the BEST scene last night after coming home from class. Isn’t it funny how a vigorous workshop can totally recharge your creative batteries?

I’d been feeling a bit stagnant lately, writing mechanically, cranking out *blah* chapters that I knew I’d have to come back later and ‘fix.’ This in-class discussion of the chapters I’d submitted for workshop was exactly what I needed to wake up and reengage with my story.

It scares me though, thinking about what I’m going to do after graduation when my creative batteries need that occasional recharge. This semester, I’ve had the benefit of going to class every two weeks to meet with a group of writers at my own experience level to discuss our projects and brainstorm ideas for how to make them better. Next semester, I’ll be continuing my novel project in thesis before graduating in May.

But then what? What will I do without that support group to help me freshen my ideas and keep me motivated? My professor teaches novel writing to stay in tune with her creative side. But without an MFA, the chances of me finding a job teaching creative writing are slim.

I’ve tried to hustle up workshop groups outside of class in the past, but they never seem to go anywhere. And don’t get me started on the e-mail workshop group I joined one summer when my piece was the last to be workshopped, and no one bothered to read it (despite the fact that I had studiously read everyone else’s short stories and provided detailed feedback on each of their pieces.)

What is the deal with writers, anyway? We all complain about how hard it is to find someone to workshop with, but when the opportunity presents itself, so many flake out and don’t follow through.

How can you effectively plug in to your local writing scene? If you have any ideas for me, please post them in the comments below.

Mandy Webster

Be sure to like my Writers Anonymous Facebook page to connect with other writers.

1 thought on “Plugging in to your local writing scene”

  1. Hey there! Thanks for linking to The Brass Rag! As to getting a workshop group together…I know what you mean about the difficulty of getting people to commit. We have a critique group, which is probably the same thing by a different name. I looked for three years before finding a group of people with similar goals and a good level of commitment. We started with five and dropped to three and now are up to four. Keeping it small and meeting monthly has been working for us, tho we did decide to increase our meetings to bimonthly after the first of the year. I will say that the group is one of the single best things to happen to my writing, EVER.
    So I would say, keep trying. It will come and it’s worth the wait.

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