Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Workshop Confidential

Apparently I'm a cliché. Or not, I'm telling myself.

In keeping with my “methodology” of getting out there and exploring things of interest to see what sticks and wanting to write more better, I go to the 25th annual  writers workshop sponsored by our community college. I’m in line with the other retired people, or at least a lot of people in my age group, thinking they could be, or who are, writers.

Apparently, older retired people who take up writing are a known element with established writers who have been dedicated and paid dues for decades. "Uhg, another retirement blog" can be an initial thought that needs to be transcended. As quickly as possible. I'm already contemplating taking “retirement” out of my blog title in order to capture the attention of the retirement-blog-adverse. 'Cause this ain't your grandma’s blog. Or so I want to think.

Quite a few of the participants looked grandmotherly or conventional.  Others reflected a sensible-shoes, makeup-less look….bookish. Duh. Of course: Writers. Books. Reading. This wasn’t what I expected, even though I didn't realize I had expectations. Probably  something more like this:


I’m like the homosexual who is uncomfortable with the effeminates in the community. “No. I'm not like them. Please don't put me there.” But we need to embrace the whole of our communities least we engage in self-hatred.

The diversity evened out a bit over the weekend but I was one of the few people in the crowd looking at the internet during presentations. Probably because I was the only one that needed to look up the authors to whom references were made. Not sure if I should be apologetic, although no one noticed because it was in an auditorium, or a bit "hey girl" for my modern habits.

I learned terms like project, voice, and platform.  Are you working on a project? Uhm. Pause. Oh, project means some piece of writing .... a book, a play. Quick. I think. Is a blog a project? Sure. Make up the elevator speech on the spot. Try to describe using terms that resonate.

And I got an encouraging review of my manuscript (aka this blog) from a published author. I really appreciated being matched with a writer young enough to be my daughter. Score!

Main take-away: be more descriptive. Not the first time I’ve heard that. So if you see my posts getting a bit longer, blame the workshop. It’s called scene-setting.

I can see that being a writer requires deep commitment, especially if you want to get published - like, for real. I’m not ready for that, for so many reasons. For now, and so as not to get too self-conscious about words, I’m going to focus on the art of living, rather than the art of writing. So I have something to write about. Descriptively.







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