Merimbula, a great place to relax and write.
This weekend we drove down to Merimbula (coastal town popular during whale-watching season). While visiting the in-laws, I also got to take part in a writers workshop run by Writers of the Far South Coast. I met some wonderful writers and am always in awe of how people from such different backgrounds and lifestyles can come together with a common interest and goal.
I know I could spend the time that I travel around participating in workshops actually writing, or doing writing exercises from a book or the web. But I get a lot out of writing workshops.
So why take part in workshops?
- Learn - This gives me an opportunity to hear from published authors and writers with different experiences from myself. I learn a lot from the speaker and the other participants.
- Reminder - Even if I've been going through a writing lull, hanging out with other writers reminds me to get back into my WIP.
- Sharing - It's a good environment to bounce your ideas of other writers and see if they can help you smooth out any wrinkles in your current story.
- Socialise - You are all passionate about the same thing, writing is a great thing to have in common.
- Push your boundaries - This is my favourite reason. During a workshop I will take part in exercises I might otherwise shy away from because I think they're too hard or outside my comfort zone. You are pushed to perform when you take part in a workshop. For example, in this workshop we were asked to write a Haiku. I'm not a big fan of writing poetry and even less of writing haikus, so I would never have tried this if I wasn't in the workshop. We were asked to continue from the line 'For deliciousness'. Here's my attempt:
try pieces of lemonade
sprinkled in the sun
We also did some sensory invoking exercises, worked on characterisation details and setting's mood. I came away with a new scene for my mystery novel The Warracknabeal Kids, as well as a small inspiration that promises to ferment into a new story idea. Best of all, I made some new writerly friends.