20 Aug 2020

3 things I learnt from my own Writing Workshop

There are 3 things I learnt when I ran a writing workshop recently – with adults. Of course there are more than 3. But let’s start with these.

It was over weekends – four weekends to be precise. 15 eager beavers joined my workshop, knowing it came from a place of passion. And what they learnt was simple – how to write better! But more importantly, what came out what my own learning! Here are 3 things that I learnt or maybe rediscovered thanks to the workshop!

1. Getting started

One of the biggest stumbling block for anyone who wants to write or has to write (and who doesn’t need to write?) is how to get started. That is the the first thing we tackle in the first hour of our first session! How did that pan out for me? I too got writing. And hence so many posts from my stable on both the websites where I post! There’s nothing like writing to get started with writing! Oh yes, and you’ll hear this many times from me, writing is a muscle. So in effect, I’m constantly building mine. And I can help build yours.

2. Read better. To write better.

This is part of what I have learnt. And what I share. To write a little, you have to read a lot. Read. Read some more. And then more than that. While I am a regular reader, working on the content of this workshop got me in the groove of reading even more. Articles. Posts. Books. Books. And more books. These were books on writing. But also fiction. And non-fiction. Oh yes, and on the Kindle. Through the Audible App. And physical books.
If I am behind on watching some of the popular serials, I plead guilty. But books have consumed most of my time of late, and have consumed me totally as I look at them with new eyes, and with renewed passion.
I read not just to write, but to share – as appropriate examples in the workshop.
I read to inspire – to be able to tell the participants what’s worth looking at and worth emulating
And finally I read to write better. Writing is an unending journey, and I’ve caught the bus for that again. I’m loving it.

3. Edit. Edit. Edit again.

It’s no surprise that one of the key elements of good writing is not just writing but editing. Proof reading. Proof checking. Editing. Kill your darlings, said Stephen King. And my darlings, killed lie strewn by the wayside as I valiantly charge forth during my editing sprees. It’s something I am used to but have become acutely aware of now. The knives glisten. The axe is sharpened. The saw has a cutting edge. I preach what I practise. And I practise what I am currently preaching. And I step back and watch what emerges. Because in my learning there is growth, not just for me but also for the participants who need to get more than content, value from my workshop.

That’s just 3 things. I know there’s more. But that’s for another time. My learning continues.And I realise this journey is something of a passion that doesn’t end but grows. Which then brings me to one of my favourite quotes from T. S. Eliot:

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

T. S. Eliot

Want to know more about my workshop? Here

Want to know what the participants are saying? Watch here

Or read what some have to say