Recently, one writer told me about her experience with one of these exercises. She sat down before breakfast and wrote the exercise. Then she went into the kitchen to eat breakfast. Then she remembered that the exercise was written on paper and that no one would see it until we met again a few days later. There is also the opportunity to receive a detailed manuscript review of a more polished manuscript. Note that we do not critique anything freshly written. First drafts are not to be judged in this way, but given only positive comments to allow these writings to grow.
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Review: This workshop was the perfect place to kickstart restart, really my writing after taking a break of several years. It's supportive, creative, and full of smart folks with keen insight. I had not seen Ken in twenty years, since a few months after I graduated from college. Ken wrote back and let me know that the liability of hosting high schools students in dorms had grown too high and he now ran the Institute as a day program.
A few months later, we did. He mentored so many, made so many dorky-feeling high school students feel sophisticated and smart. At the time I was in his workshop, he had two young kids, but he was constantly planning activities for us: picnics at his house, public readings where we read our work to an audience, and trips to the Chautauqua Institution.
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What it lacked in culture, he found a way to create. I moped around writing a short story with too many female protagonists. It was going nowhere, and no one wanted to read it. One of my first nights there I was invited to a reading in a stone area known as The Grotto.
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I remember how cool it was to meet other kids who liked to write and to read. The first story I wrote was truly horrible. I went home over the weekend, and my dad tried to help me improve it by having me read Faulkner. It was hopeless; there was just no way to improve it before the deadline. Some of the other students were outraged by this act, but I took it in stride.
It was a bad story; my next one would be better. As I watched others leave, I wrote and recorded everything I saw and felt. I count that day as my first real day as a writer. I write most of my first drafts in pen. This is convenient for me, but it is also about the writing process and the immediacy of using pen and paper to directly record my thoughts as they come to me. Over the last several years, I have been given many notebooks by friends. One was pages and took me a year and 2 weeks to fill.
That one was a little heavy to carry around, especially when traveling! Since then, I've had smaller notebooks. Recently, my supply of notebooks ran out, and I bought my first notebook, or decomposition book as this one is made of recycled paper in years. Ahhh, the lovely feeling of a new notebook stretching out in front of me, the wonder at what will fill the pages. First page: section 18 of a long piece of fiction that I am writing. Her suggestions are down-to-earth and straightforward. The exercises allow writers to jump into writing as beginners or for more seasoned writers to jump-start a piece that may be stuck.
Schneider had four children, and she struggled to write poems while also taking care of them. Nowadays, moms and dads of young children will find themselves in similar situations--trying to find the quiet time they need to hear their stories and write them down. My favorite section is on the topic of solitude. Only in the deepest solitude is it possible to achieve the utter surrender required for creative work.
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One hour a week, I write in this room, and over the weeks I have been compiling the pages of a novella. In such a group, where members quietly focus on their own writing, solitude is preserved for the whole. Experienced writers, new writers, and writers returning to writing who are looking for this kind of quiet, focused, and supportive environment in which to write may want to join the workshop.
Review: Louise Bierig is a great instructor, who encourages a supportive, workshop environment each week, conducive to the creative process. Pat is a poet, playwright, librettist, and author of ten books of poetry and non-fiction. She was born in the Ozark mountains of Missouri where she became intimate with fossils, creekbeds, grasshoppers and box turtles. After a search for work took her single mother to St. Louis, from age ten Pat lived in tenements and in an orphanage until she was given a scholarship to college. Those early experiences have deeply influenced her writing, and fueled her passion for those who have been denied voice through poverty and other misfortunes.
writer, teacher, and writing practice provocateur
Rachel was kind enough to invite me to participate in her workshop in winter This helped me reestablish my writing practice, following a several year break in regular writing after becoming a parent. It also prepared me to lead The Lansdowne Writers' Workshop. Rachel's workshops fills up quickly; she leads a general workshop, similar to mine, as well as a manuscript workshop, where folks with full length manuscripts receive in-depth reviews from Rachel and their peers. The Free Library of Philadelphia offers an excellent series of authors events.
The benefits of attending these events for writers are huge: it's inspiring, it's a great opportunity to hear writers read aloud in their own voices, and it's a way to learn how th ey wrote their books. Kathye Fetsko Petrie maintains a great website of local literary resources at Local Lit. To find these events, scroll through the calendar below, then click on the author or event name to be taken to a website with more information. Many events are free.
Check out our local literary magazine, Philadelphia Stories. The mission of Philadelphia Stories is to cultivate a community of writers, artists, and readers in the Greater Philadelphia Area through publications, professional development, and promotion of area writers.
Need some downtime to help your writing flourish? Need to stretch after long sessions at the computer? Rebecca Damia offers lovely restorative yoga classes, as well as journaling and meditation classes. She shares her impressions of the Lansdowne Writers' Workshop, as well as other local workshops and includes comprehensive calendar of literary events. Drop Me a Line! Please contact me by email or phone Telephone Or complete this convenient contact form. All Rights Reserved. After taking on a full-time academic role and seeing the first three years of my ECR status disappear in the blink of an eye, I recognised that I needed to change my working habits in order to achieve the publication success I desire.
First, it encourages participants to reflect on their writing challenges and practices, both individually and collectively. Second, it encourages more frequent writing, and the most successful academic writers suggest that writing more often is a big part of success. Third, it provides great electronic tools to support the improvement and sustaining of better micro-level practices more writing, more often, in bite-size pieces.
Fourth, the writing group has built a terrific cohort of participants from a wide range of disciplines across our College whose advice and experiences are priceless. Finally, I am the breed of academic who is perhaps too team-oriented at times, which can be a flaw, and the nature of this group enables me to feel I am part of a team. Filed under Networking , Research culture Tagged with Angela Dobele , collegiality , community of practice , networking , productivity , suaw , writing communities , writing groups.
Pingback: The writer within Think Ahead Blog. This is fantastic! I never thought about using the app with others. I use the Pomodoro app for myself. Thanks for sharing. Like Like. And there are also virtual groups that operate through Twitter e. Let me know if you want to know more! I am happy to chat about my writing program if you would like to know more. My email is angela. Reblogged this on Cecile Badenhorst and commented: Here is a different take on motivating yourself to write — using some of the apps available to writers.
Reblogged this on Sasharose31's Blog. The web application I use was specially developed for our group, but I can put you in touch with the IT firm who developed it if you are interested? Just let me know on angela. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account.