I love writing workshop. They’re a lot of work and a bit tedious, but well worth it. If you’ve never been a part of a writing workshop, you are missing out!
If you aren’t sure how they work, it goes like this: A group of writers come together. Each brings something they’ve written. (Sometimes it’s genre specific. It depends on the workshop and the writing goals.) Everyone in the workshop reads everyone else’s work. They provide comments, feedback, and suggestions for revisions from the perspective of a reader and a writer. Workshops can be done in person or online. Workshops in person involve paper copies and written marks, maybe a written summary of your response. Online workshops involve attachments and in-text comments made through Word or Google Docs.
Getting eyes on your manuscript can be daunting and difficult. I’ve received invaluable advice through workshops, and I’ve received less than adequate feedback. But, it’s worth it. With each piece workshopped, whether your own or someone else’s, your skill grows. You see what others did that you liked or didn’t like, and you carve your own craft from the experience.
It is a dream of mine to host an online workshop. I enjoy helping people learn how to write better. Practice is the best way to learn. Good writing transcends genre or subject. Good writing will pull a reader into whatever it is they are saying. Readers can pick out when they are being preached to, or when the writer doesn’t know a thing about what he’s talking about.
I’m not sure how my workshop would work. I’ve been in one where the readers emailed their responses directly to the author. I’m not a fan of that style. I’d rather have a discussion board type of site where the author’s piece to be workshopped is a thread, and everyone comments on that thread. I’m sure there is a website design to fit those needs, but right now I’m a little busy to man such a site. I’d have to wait until I’m finished with school to start it. Or course, if I start now I can build up writer friends.
Write well and dream big.