Let me tell you a simple truth. Retreats and workshops are tools. They are things which are able to sharpen the talent and gifts that you have. Being a writer does not make you a wizard, dear one. This is gift is one that you must work at, and work to be successful. Good writing doesn’t just occur. It doesn’t just happen–it is worked at. One of the reasons such resources exist are to encourage those whom write the confidence to write better! There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve you talent. There is nothing wrong with believing you do something well, only to desire to that thing better! Writing, truly pursuing this–will require an investment; the primary investment is time. Always time. Let me give this formula: Facts + Truths = Focus. The fact is simple: you are a writer. The truth is, you could write better–there is a way to do what you do better. With those things compiled will only yield focus! It is this simple formula which will prepare you for the challenges posed by and through any workshop or retreat. Don’t push away from this process, dear Oracle. If you want to write, be a better writer even, you must write.
To date, I have spoken at length about what it means to attend a writing retreat. I understand, though, not everyone is able to attend on of these. I mean it is a pandemic on top of everything else! But, there is a high chance, dear Oracle, budding/indie writer that you can attend a workshop! And here are some reasons why you should:
1. Cost. Depending on the length of the workshop, topic and genre, it may be entirely more affordable and feasible to attend a workshop than a retreat. If you can spend $100 on an hour workshop than $300 on a retreat–where you may sleep rather than write!–spend less money.
2. Location. It’s the pandemic! Not a lot of people are traveling for these types of artistic ventures. But, there may be a writers’ workshop that you can be apart of that meets locally or virtually! There as a writer’s workshop that I used to attend that was hosted by my girl Amanda Wells that met once a month! In her space, she offered snacks, gave a space to write and a place to just decompress to write! And it was free! Look for these types of supportive places in your city. Social media is a great place to look (Facebook, especially!).
3. Learning and Networking. Sometimes writing can feel as if you are atop a mountain with no way to get to the village below. Workshops foster writing in community! Workshops encourage writers to bounce ideas off one another, gather support and even become aware of those that write the same genre as you do!
Don’t dismiss the opportunity to build out your writing network! You would will never know whom you might need, whom might need you and what opportunities may be garnered because you were at the right place at the right time.