We help writers of all genres and experience levels to produce and promote professionally published work. We do this by providing read-and-critique sessions, educational activities, ongoing author support, networking opportunities and a welcoming, inclusive community.
I am a writer, so it’s only natural that I create an elaborate metaphor to talk about… well, to talk about anything. My mission in this post is to describe DFW Writers Workshop and my experience with the group. I could go on to say that the DFW Writers Workshop is an accidental blessing that I am grateful for walking into. I could explain how it’s a community of diverse people gathered together by one strong pull to create and keep creating. I could go on and on about how much this workshop means to me and how much I have changed by participating in it each week. I could say a lot. Trust me. Instead, I have decided to deliver a metaphor. Forgive me now, I couldn’t stop it even if I wanted to. In light of the holiday season, it has come to mind that the workshop reminds me a lot of Thanksgiving. Stay with me. Every week, people travel across the metropolis to gather together and celebrate their work. We ready our reads in the comforts of home and then slug through traffic to be with one another for a few fine hours. Old friends and new members mingle, discussing what will be read that night. I hunger to hear other people’s stories like I hunger for good turkey. I hold my own brand of creation in my hands hoping to be critiqued and also hoping, just hoping, someone likes it enough to say I should continue cooking up the plot. The actual workshop works like this: you read aloud a small piece of your work for fifteen minutes or less and people critique you for five minutes. A collection of people sits around a table, each of us serving up a piece of genre and letting others digest our words. And then we talk. We talk and we listen. Okay, sometimes we argue. But that only strengthens the analogy if you think about it. And even though we only wait a week between meetings, people catch up with each other as if it’s been a year because we discuss not only our lives, but also the lives of our characters. “My protagonist is acting up again. I can’t get the voice right with this one.” “Yep, I am still working on the climax. It’s going… well, it’s going.” “I have not written a thing in months. I know, I know, it’s been a hard month.” “I have an event this Saturday. Hope y’all can come.” We are a group. We are a tribe. We are a family of our creation. And there is nothing like working out the kinks of your writing with a family that truly understands what you are going through. For that, I am grateful.read moreWhenever I am asked, ‘So, what do you do?’ I fumble through a series of emotions, defaulting on a grin-and-bear-it smile. Wife and Soccer-Mom-of-Three by day. Emergency Room and Neonatal nurse by night. Breastfeeding Educator. Romance Author. Eyes normally get wide and the person who just wanted some small-talk responds in one of two ways: “Whoa, what’s the coolest thing you’ve seen in the ER?” “Really, you’re an author? Where do you find the time?” The first question is easy and usually starts with some genius who said, “Hey, hold my beer.” The second is pretty tough. A writer needs to write. Everyday. I compare it to training for a marathon, except you don’t get the satisfaction of a medal or a sticker for your car when you type “The End.” My world doesn’t allow for writing rituals or long stretches of time with my fingers feverishly putting words on the page. Over the years, I’ve tried little ways to find time. I carried my tablet around like a fourth child in the off chance I’d have a moment during soccer practice or that my brain would be able to restart and re-tool a scene between patients. But those situations didn’t always work out. I needed to be a mom at soccer and a nurse in the ER. When I finally started calling myself an author, I gave myself time. Billable, bursts of time where I officially put on my romance-writer hat. I stopped trying to find time to write and made time to write. I get up early. Stay up twenty minutes late. I let my children play the iPad (yep, I’m that mom). I complete three mom chores, and grant myself equal amounts of time to work as an author. My children know I work in the hospital and on the computer. My co-workers simply ignore the fact I talk out my scenes while turning over beds or charting vital signs. And my husband understands why some days the laundry doesn’t get finished. Sure, the “Mom Guilt” monkey hitches a ride on my back every now and again, and somedays my precious thirty minutes is spent deleting three sentences and googling a word. Maybe all you do is draft or doodle. Maybe it’s listening to the song that inspires your story. If it fires your imagination and is solely devoted to your craft – it will never be time wasted. Don’t look at your day and decide there isn’t time for you and your story. Don’t try to give 100% to five different things at once. The outcomes are never worth the effort. Except for cooking. Crafting a scene while making dinner always turns out nice and spicy.read more
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