Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer Writing Workshops

Summer Writing Workshops: good for the writing, bad for the blogging.

Last summer I chose to do the six week, intensive Odyssey Fantasy Writing Workshop.  This year I chose to return for the one week alumni workshop.  It was good to go back, meet new people and see old friends.  It was good to get a refresher of the kind of craft concerns Odyssey can ferret out and address.  I took three stories to workshop, two of which I felt were nearly done and one of which I thought needed a lot of work -- now I feel the exact opposite.  The first two need a lot more exploration and the last one I now have a clear path to traverse, one through which I can bring out the story with more ease than expected.

Getting ready for this workshop, I wondered if I had been smart to sign up.  I wondered if I was plain workshopped-out after three years of MFA, during each of which I participated in a summer workshop.  And in truth, I had many moments when I told myself -- and complained to my friends -- that I needed to get out of the classroom as a student.  At least for a while.

Having another workshop experience turned out to be fine. More than fine when you consider it altered my attitude about several pieces of fiction which I've been working on these past six months.  But I am more than happy to take a break from the workshop for a while.

Perhaps, in a year, I'll miss it.

Highly Recommended