I Took a Writing Workshop at Elizabethtown College
A friend invited me to a writing workshop at the Bowers Writers House last weekend.
A dozen writers and I crowded around a big conference table while Bowers House director Jesse Waters critiqued our work.
I'd submitted the first chapter of The Skeleton Club. Jesse identified places I could tighten the language and encouraged me to experiment with different verb tenses.
He told us all to stay attuned to our subconscious, and let it show through our writing. Only during later revisions, he said, should we question our choices: Why that verb? Why that detail?
I've all but abandoned my memoir this year, and it felt good to return. It felt good to sit in that room among virtual strangers, from all walks of life, brought together by a collective dedication to this humble human practice of telling stories.
They talked about dates for a second writers' workshop in mid-January. They invited me back. I walked out of the Bowers House feeling a cozy sense of communion and a determination to finally finish my memoir.
It'll take time, perhaps the whole of 2017, but I can think of no better way to pass the coming year. Especially now that I have a new group of allies.
Maybe I'll never find a literary agent. Maybe my book will never sell. If all I get in return for my effort is a few new friendships and a deeper appreciation for writing, it will still be worthwhile.