Why Go To A Writing Event?
by Writing Workshops Org Admin
A year ago
It’s just about time to get off work and you’re wondering what to do tonight. Be it a critique group, happy hour, lecture, or conference, there is a writing-related event happening tonight and you should be there. Be honest. By the time you had finished reading that last sentence, you’d already thought of an excuse as to why you can’t go. I know, because I think the exact same things.
I get off work and would much rather put on pajamas and watch Netflix than sit with a group of strangers as they tear my creative works apart. I agree to go to a future event only to find myself dreading it when the date comes due. Sometimes it’s a matter of effort; of getting up early for a weekend workshop or driving a far distance just to have drinks with other writers. Other times, it’s a matter of energy, of being an introvert who needs alone time to recharge after a long day.
The stars do align at times, though, and I find myself sitting down at a writing group or signing up for a writing class. I remind myself that it’s also a long drive to Chipotle, but I want that badly enough. If I want to be a writer, I can certainly take the time to drive to a meeting. Yes, I may have to work to keep up my energy, especially when meeting strangers, but it’s worth what I will gain from the experience.
Going out in public and meeting with other people can seem counterintuitive for a solitary activity like writing where it’s all about getting words on the page. But it’s through other writers that the flames of our imagination are fanned. When I’m talking to any regular Joe about what I’m writing, I get excited (and loud!). Being around other people who “get” what I’m talking about and can offer critique or advice is an even better way to keep the spark for my project alive.
After a writing event, I rush home, invigorated with a new idea or ready to scan my writing with whatever critique I received or new technique I learned in the lecture. And when I sit back and look at the new story I’ve written or a revised paragraph that now sings, I feel accomplished, and I know that going to a writing event was what made that happen.
Every person has reasons they should and shouldn’t go to a writing group, class, or event. What’s more important is making a commitment to your truer self—the writer within. Calling yourself a writer is like using an umbrella term that supersedes other group identities like race, gender, age, etc. You are a writer at your core, and you need to be around your tribe. So, stop making excuses and go out and do it. Sign up for that conference; take that writing course; share a piece at a critique group. The writer inside will thank you.