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.