Some Kind of Workshop

Ideas time. Kinda.

During the year, one of the things expressed by a few of the people in my wonderful writing group is that they think I should do workshops. How things are at the moment, I tend to spend time with each person that comes along and if they’re running into issues with the writing process, particular when it comes to where things go, ironing out plot-creases or filling plot-holes, I jump in.

I’ve done this out of instinct from very early on, and while I know ideas-people are never in short supply, I do this.

I love the message in the film Ratatouille, but tend to paraphrase it a bit for my own personal thoughts when it comes to writing. Anyone can write. What’s more, I tend to believe it’s a good thing that lots of people want to write and a huge, huge, HUGE part of my starting this blog was I want to help people write. If you look at The Plan Plan, both the paged version and the worksheets, I’m pretty upfront in that I’m doing this to encourage and aid people.

I mightn’t have the grounding to outwardly prove I know what I’m doing (though hope it comes through eventually or in the meantime, through the ideas I bring), but I hope I’m helpful.

Turns out there’s a lot of people out there to help writers. Beyond the blogs you’ll find books on writing, courses on writing, degrees on writing, people to give you ideas, people to develop your ideas, people to edit, sell, read, and it really goes on.

Now one of the first things you’ll hear (after the “You could be the next Stephen King/J.K. Rowling/etc”) is about how there’s no money in it, but they’re wrong. There’s a lot of money in writing, but it’s just not in the writing itself. It’s in the selling. Gone are the days where your buy-in was the pen and paper you wrote with. Maybe you start that way (ha, amateur) but without the backing of all that stuff you’re meant to do, how is anyone going to take you seriously as a writer? Next you’ll say you haven’t worked out your authorial wardrobe or favourite uncommon style of coffee. You haven’t? Ha ha ha ha. Amateur.

I don’t know if I have a point here.

I’m happy to give people my time. It’s not only the most valuable thing I have, but it’s also the one I don’t run out of every month.

Thing is though, I’d love to be doing all my word stuff on a more permanent basis. If I’m lucky I’ll get a half-hour in my lunch-break to write, an evening once a week, and that’s about all I can fit around all the other life-stuff right now.

So y’know, anything that’d allow me to take this side of things more seriously has to be a good thing. It’s only through the feedback of those I’ve directly shared advice with that I’ve even thought that maybe this is something I could do for real, rather than my writing being some self-indulgent mental jerk-off that distracts me from the realisation I should have explored this all back when I didn’t have people that depend on me to be a source of stability.

I think in the new year, I’ll explore something to this effect. I don’t know what it will look like yet, though I know it’s a better process in-person if that’s at all possible. I assume I’ll try and get some kind of structure worked out first, so yeah, this is a thing that might be happening. It also might not.

Oh and for the record, I appreciate people have to get paid. It’s why I can’t just throw in the day-time stuff and explore the stuff I’d love to be doing. It’s just… you know, having done NaNoWriMo and being involved on the organising side where lots of the people trying to get started in the writing circle are either teachers or students (both areas not REALLY synonymous with a wealth o’ wealth) who tend to be scraping by as-is and then often don’t come along because they can’t afford the extra travel, well I dunno. Couple in that so many writing groups turn into “hey other authors, here’s my book that you should buy because doesn’t everyone love pyramid schemes??”

Those $800 for two days of a basic writing course is so far beyond my own price range that I can’t imagine how anyone affords them.

I don’t mean this to come across as a case of “they got some, I want mine” but it gets old when people assume my time isn’t valuable just because I’m not charging for it. Just because I’m doing something for the love of it doesn’t make it worthless.

2 thoughts on “Some Kind of Workshop

  1. First off, I loved —and still do— Ratatouille.

    I am kind of saddened how much of the business of writing is in the selling. Sometimes the best stories don’t get any sort of recognition because they may not have the best of marketing, while some poorly written novel had an interesting origin and becomes a best seller.

    It amazes me.
    But at least they put it out there. It is more than I can say.

    Your time is worth it. I appreciate the time for the advice you have put here. Just I wish I had time to read more of it.
    Thumbs up from me.
    Too bad that doesn’t mean much if you know what I mean.

    1. Honestly, it means a lot 🙂 One of the truths of blogging for me, whether it’s writing here or writing elsewhere for others, is feedback is uncommon. I usually get a few hits here and there, but comments are those rare things that so often turn out to be spam.

      Thank you for reading, and sharing your thoughts 🙂

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