As mentioned, I’m enrolled in one–with The Brainery, a very nifty program for writers of speculative fiction. It’s especially awesome for me to get to do a spec fit oriented program, because all of my workshops up until now have been for literary fiction.
Y’all know me. I’m not at all interested in the divisiveness between the genres. To me, those categories are to sell books to the people who want to read them. Beyond that, I don’t see them as that useful. I do write predominantly speculative fiction, either magical realism or straight up horror/sci-fi/fantasy. I also write realist stories when the mood strikes. I don’t like the idea of being precluded from doing either. Just like I wouldn’t want to write every story using the same stylistic choices and structure. That would be boring.
But I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t occasionally felt the pinch of writing on the boundaries in the odd workshop or two before this. And I’d definitely be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes worry about what my teachers and mentors would think of my choices, writing-wise.
At the end of the day, though, we only get so much time to write stories and I have every intention of writing what I want to write, whatever it may be that day. What gets sold is largely out of my hands. The most I can do is to make any given piece the best it can be.
And that’s where workshops come in! It’s true, they can devolve into story by committee, but I’ve never actually been in that environment. I’ve always been lucky enough to have classmates and professors who wanted people to make their own choices. And at the end of the day, regardless of what you’ve been direct to do, it’s still always up to you to choose what to listen to or ignore.
It’s been four years since I’ve been in a workshop of any kind. I think I missed the community the most. It’s just fun to toss around ideas with people and see the different worlds everyone imagines. It reminds me that I should be doing that more with my other writer friends. (Sorry, writer friends.)
I’m also just excited to write. One of the big reasons I felt moved to take this workshop (aside from the rad topic), was I’ve been feeling stuck in a rut about producing content. And it’s been a week and I’ve already written a story.
Real talk: just that feels kind of amazing.