6 reasons to attend writer’s retreat:
For a very long-time writing was my favourite hobby. It started with me copying quotes in my diary from library books, to writing little love notes at the back of notebook for my crush and after my first heartbreak gradually evolved to writing poetry. Words were my solace but over a period of time I got busier with life and writing became a thing of past.
Years went by without me picking the pen and then a friend tagged me in an online short story competition. I was going through a really rough phase in my office and this opportunity felt like a sign of what I should do with my life going forward. I left my job and decided to pursue writing as a full-time profession.
I had seen enough in life to believe I have a few stories in me and I wasn’t wrong. I wrote short stories for books and magazines. I hit my first snag when I decided to write a novel. I didn’t have the slightest idea of where to begin, how to define my characters, how to create a story which grips my readers from starting to end. This is when my magazine editor suggested me to go for a writing workshop.
I initially scoffed at the idea because you know would Jane Austin and Ruskin Bond need these sessions but I realized since I am neither a little help can’t hurt. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever took. Here are a few of my take-aways after my first writing workshop:
1. Brushing up the basics:
Even if you are a born writer there is always a room for improvement. A literary workshop will give you theoretical education on the craft of writing. They give you with insightful tips and tricks to improve your style of writing.
2. Meeting People who share your interest.
Unlike web-series where usually a group of writers brain-storm the plot and storyline writing books is usually a solitary activity. Sometimes deciding the direction my story should take feels like a daunting task. But in the workshop bouncing off ideas with others with similar interests was a rewarding experience. It made me feel I am not the only one who faces these dilemmas and also little networking never hurts anyone.
3. Accepting criticism and giving feedback:
Various tasks and exercise are designed to challenge you mentally and get your creative juices flowing. They also give you an excellent opportunity to share your work with the fellow writers and panels.
I always had mental block when it came to sharing my work for professional critique. I kept revising my draft based on feedback from friends and family without ever sharing with any professional. However, the workshop helped me over come this. I not only learnt how to receive and incorporate constructive critique into my stories but also got an opportunity to critique other people’s works.
4. Bring discipline in writing:
Writing is like marathon training. The more regular you are with your workout the easier it gets in the long run. Most exercises are designed to help you write with ease and loosen up the infamous writers block! They do so by helping you develop discipline and a routine which any good and prolific writer needs.
5. Working with the deadlines:
For delivering the assignments on time you will have to sit down and fill out the empty pages which at home you might leave for another day. Meeting strict deadlines is critical if you want to sign a contract with any publishing house..
Many organisers provide not only arrange for amazing guidance during the workshop but post it too. They have mentorship programs which guide you through your writing journey to help you create your own style of narration.
So, if you have a writer’s block, need little motivation or meet people who share your passion writing workshop is the way forward. Sharing ideas, giving and receiving feedback is a sure-shot way to give your grey matter the workout it needs to begin your journey as an amazing writer.