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The Workshop Experience

I have survived....

Going to an intense workshop to get your baby, your joy, the love of your life ripped to shreds by famous editors and authors is an interesting experience. Not only are you crowded in a hotel with a small group of other writers feeling as if you are under a microscope, but you find yourself hearing things you'd never expected. And not always hearing things you thought you would hear.

For instance, I just finished (literally) Viable Paradise XIII. I'm sitting at the airport on the Vineyard, ready to depart.

VP is my first professional workshop. I go in expecting to have my heart ripped out, my manuscript shredded and my ego barely hanging in by a tenuous thread. [ SIDE NOTE: Barely. That's an adverb. We're not supposed to use adverbs. Or, at least, use them only sparingly. (Another adverb. See how I do that? @=) ]  Surprisingly, it was not the horrendous, soul-numbing experience I expected it to be. I didn't get high praise, but I wasn't shattered either. The instructors and fellow writers were incredibly supportive. They pointed out issues I was already aware of (but in denial of) and gave me suggestions on how to fix things.

So I didn't get the confirmation that I am the Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread. Well, that's okay. Because I did find out that I'm not the only writer who falls apart after I finish a novel. I'm not the only writer who goes through bouts of "I can't write! Nobody likes me!". I'm not the only writer who finds the publishing industry a murky morass of mystical mantras that one needs a map and lots of navigators to find the way through.

I made a lot of friends. I had a lot of fun. I learned a lot of things. Later, I will inflict my poem of the VP experience on my readers. But not while I'm sitting in the airport. All I do want to say right now is, if you are a writer and you get a chance, apply for a writers workshop. Viable Paradise is a one week experience. It will not confirm your greatest ambitions (read - obsessions) but it won't tear you apart. These instructors are there to make you BETTER than you are now. And if you're good, better will make you very good.

I will spend a lot of time digesting the things I learned. It was a good experience for me. I highly recommend it for you. And, on a final note for this post, I only have one more thing to say.

I survived. YeeHaw!


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 11th, 2009 02:11 am (UTC)
I'm very glad you were there, Brandie. Our whole class was made up of entirely wonderful people, and I count myself super lucky to have made friends with the lot of you!
Oct. 11th, 2009 11:22 am (UTC)
Glad you survived and gave VP a thumbs up. Looking forward to that poem...
Oct. 11th, 2009 01:05 pm (UTC)
Hey roomie, it was good to get to know you! It was an awesome experience on so many levels...
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

Brandie's Stories

The Monster of Mogahnee Bay (reprint ebook, Coming Soon, Musa Publishing)

The Drunkard's Progress (Coming Soon, Musa Publishing)

Slipping Thru the Cracks, Latchkeys #7 (Sept 2012 Crazy 8 Press)

Legend of the Beemen (June 2012 Musa Publishing)

Feast of the Torn (upcoming Buzzy Magazine)

The Hunt for Liberty Jones (Space Tramps, Flying Pen Press)

The Tales We'll Tell Tomorrow (Shadowrun: Street Legends, Catalyst Game Labs)

Silk and Steam (The Ladies of Trade Town, HarpHaven Press)

Love Me Knot (A Lady Katya Story, Storyportals.com)

Another Day, Another Labor (A Career Guide to Your Job in Hell)

Locke-Down (Blue Kingdoms: Mages & Magic)

The Rose Garden (Shadowrun: Corporate Guide-Mitsuhama Fiction, Catalyst Game Labs)

The Monster of Mogahnee Bay (Blue Kingdoms: Shades & Specters)

Just My Luck (Pirates of the Blue Kingdoms)

Two for the Price of One (Transformers: Legends, iBooks Inc.)

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