Writing is something that I do for myself. It gives me the opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy a guilt-free cup of tea. However since deciding to take my writing to the next level, I have realised that sometimes you need to break out of that cosy comfort zone, in order to be a little more productive.
This new inspiration came in the form of participating in my first writing workshop. And let me just say, it will not be my last! Although sharing your work with fellow writers is a very confronting experience, it is something that makes you a braver and better writer. I had never been exposed to so many talented and unique minds, all with something brilliant to contribute. Listening and learning from them has definitely reinvigorated my writing, and has motivated me to share some of the benefits with you:
1. Learning to appreciate constructive criticism
More often than not sharing your work can be a daunting experience. Especially in the context where criticism is always guaranteed. Therefore, we tend to gravitate toward our closest family and friends for feedback, knowing that their encouragement will come from a place of love. The problem with this is that your writing may never be challenged, and without being challenged, you may never know your full potential.
2. Helping others improve their work
Participating in writing workshops doesn’t only involve accepting feedback, it also involves giving it. This is great, because it gives you a reason to expand your horizons, and gain exposure to different types of literature. Pushing your boundaries will not only help you to develop a critical eye when giving feedback, it will also give you the opportunity to learn new techniques to implement into your own work.
3. Meeting others who share your passion
Creative writing workshops exist both online and offline. Both mediums offer positives, however the most important thing to consider is that being part of any workshop gives you the chance to be part of a community. Writing is often something we do in solitude, often believing a quiet environment and sense of calm will inspire our words onto paper. However, you would be surprised, just how accurate the expression ‘two heads are better than one,’ really is.
4. Discovering your strengths
Whether creative writing is your true calling or just a hobby, gaining some outside perspective is definitely beneficial. Learning where your strengths lay will give your work direction, as well as giving you some well-deserved encouragement. Refining your strengths will not only improve your writing, but will also make your weaknesses easier to accept. Let’s face it, no one’s perfect!
5. Keeping you motivated
Sometimes writing can be as simple breathing. Other times, you may struggle to write even a sentence. It’s very easy to lose motivation when the words just won’t flow, and minutes of rest become hours, days or even weeks. But trust me, just like exercising, without continual training it just gets harder. Having a group of people to keep you accountable, will definitely give you the motivation you need to keep going. Knowing that you will be expected to share your work will ensure you put in your best effort. Workshopping your writing will keep you on your toes, and will help you to develop better writing habits to improve your skills all round.
So there you have it. If you’re not sure about your writing capabilities, are stuck in a bit of slump, need some motivation, or just want to meet people who share your passion, then workshopping your writing is definitely for you. Sharing ideas, insights and feedback is a surefire way to improve your work and will certainly help you to learn and grow as writer and as an individual.
Workshopping gives you the opportunity to share your love of writing, as well as new ideas, insights and conversation with people who are genuinely interested in your passion. Being able to bounce thoughts off like-minded people is truly invaluable. Workshops provide the perfect space for sharing passing thoughts, which can grow into fully encapsulated ideas with the help of fellow writers. Furthermore, they also offer you the chance to break out of your comfort zone, meet new people and potentially make lifelong friends.