Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Workshop Wednesday - My Descent Into Writing Madness

On Tuesday I started my first ever online writing workshop, Book In A Month with Candace Havens. While I've attended workshops at conferences, this is really the first time I've taken an immersive class and I'm beyond excited. Oh, and a little scared shitless.

 The first two weeks of class are Fast Draft. 20 pages a day is the standard goal. *insert psycho music here* Then, we move into Revision Hell for the last two weeks.

Yep, all sounds so fun right?

Since I'm writing this post before class starts - one of the suggestions for the workshop is to write all your blog posts prior to starting - it means I can't tell you how it's going so far. I can say that there are some authors taking the class with me that can’t help but have me thinking, “They write books all the time, how the hell am I going to keep up with that?”

From the introductions so far, it shows that no matter how many books you’ve had published there will always be a time to refocus and work on getting back to just getting your butt in that chair and writing till it hurts. While some might find this idea daunting, it humanizes the authors and the writing process for me. Suddenly, I don’t feel like I’m taking the class because I’m a loser that can’t get her ass in the chair. Having recognizable authors there helps me connect that learning is an on-going activity and not just for writing losers.

I've actually wanted to take this workshop for ages and I'm hoping this class will make me disciplined about moving forward faster. I'm also secretly wishing that this push forces me to write more naturally instead of thinking about how I "should" write. My writing needs to find it's voice and I need to learn discipline. Two birds, one stone.

Many of my illustrious co-pirates have not only taken workshops, but taught them as well. So, I thought what better group to come to for some advice and insight on workshops than right here on The Revenge.

Has anyone taken Candace’s Fast Draft/Revision Hell class before? What workshops have you taken and loved or hated? What advice do you give for getting the most out of an online workshop? If you have a workshop coming up, please share it with us! Oh, and if you want to join me you are only 1 day behind! Click that link at the top to check it out and ignore my evil cackling laugh as I try to coherence you to step into the madness.

29 comments:

Maureen said...

Wow, lots of questions there, Scape! I've done a few in person, one day workshops... I remember nothing from them. And they were taught by legends! Deb Dixon was one, Donald Maas the other.

It wasn't them, it was me, I'm sure. I remember Donald was funny...

On line? One of revision was very good for me, Lani someone from StoryWonk??? Details, I suck at details. The class I took from Hilary Rettig on overcoming procrastination was fabulous and I love her book.

I often find the ones that deal with technical stuff are about useless...but I'm gonna try again on one about newsletters. Starting in July.

Good luck, Scape!

Marnee Bailey said...

I took both Margie Lawson's EDITS class and Carol Hughes's Deep Story class. Both of them are more revision based classes and both incredibly helpful. I recommend both.

Good luck with this Scape. I don't think, at this point in my life, I could agree to 20 pages a day. I write about that in a week. Maybe some day in the future.

Terri Osburn said...

I'm doing some math and freaking myself out. I have 9 1/2 weeks to write about 200 pages. Which means I need more than 20 pages a week. Like Marn, that's about my norm, which means I need to step it up.

If I didn't have the day job, I'd take this course, but there's no way I could do both. Someday, maybe, writing will be the day job. Wouldn't that be lovely? *makes note to marry money*

I've taken more workshops, both online and in person, than I can count. The ones Marn mentions, two of the ones Chance mentions. (That's Lani Diane Rich at Storywonk, and the revision class is awesome.)

The online classes don't work for me anymore. I just don't have the time to give them the attention they need. I'm to the point where if I attend a workshop at conference and get one good thing out of it, I'm happy. Sadly, I've attended too many that didn't provide even that much.

Which is not a knock on the presenters. You just never know what you need and what will resonate with you. Not every workshop will.

Terri Osburn said...

Totally forgot to say GO GET 'EM SCAPE!! I'm very proud of you for taking this class. Sounds crazy daunting. We'll be shaking the black pom poms cheering you on!

Marnee Bailey said...

Ter, stop doing math. You're doing fine. I'll refresh. Randy? A wet suit? Remember?

I agree with Ter though... Go get 'em SCAPE! You're going to rock this!

Terri Osburn said...

Ah, yes. Randy in the wet suit. Peeled down to his hips...

*finds happy place*

MsHellion said...

WOW, 20 pages a day? Go get 'em, Scape!! I have not taken the fast draft because...yeah, Know Thyself. But I look forward to hearing how this went and what you learned from it (some planning, I imagine.)

MsHellion said...

I second Marn's command. You're fine, Terri.

I did take Deb Dixon's class and I loved it. It was the first class I took, then I joined the RWA chapter in St. Louis.

Online classes can be hit and miss with me, though I do try to find SOMETHING out of each class that can be useful to me. Comes from the practice of having to take classes in college where I was like, "WHY is this necessary?" and having to find something so I survived the 16 weeks.

Off Tangent: my favorite things to snack on right now are baby bell peppers. Yum. Sweet and good.

Sabrina Shields said...

Hi Pirates! Sorry I'm late.

Day 1 was yesterday and I didn't hit 20 pages...but I did hit 10!!!!

Mo - sounds like you know what classes will work better for you now. I'm decently good at enewsletters so after you take the class if you have any questions feel free to ask!

Marn - yeah 20 pages is a ton. BUT, you only commit to it for 2 weeks. :)

Ter - I'm actually trying to stay off the online loop and let everyone else do the cheerleading for once. That's helping.

Hells - thank you! I'm tryingto NOT plan. Beyond what I had already doen before class started.

Off tanget: how kick-ass was Wendy Davis last night? I feel asleep watching the live feed.

MsHellion said...

I'm looking at the articles now. Kick ass, Senator Davis!! Love it! AND so happy with the DOMA result today as well. Hope this trends to even more equality.

AM concerned about the voting law bit they did away with though. Hmmm.

Maureen said...

Thanks, Terri! My memory....I remember just enough...to spark someone else's memory.

It was a joy to wake this morning with a Supreme Court that didn't totally suck lemons...

Terri Osburn said...

Yeah, we sort of took 2 strikeouts yesterday, and got 2 home runs today. Very excited about the latest rulings though.

I didn't watch the live feed of Ms. Davis (I was writing) but I did catch bits on social media. That was an awesome display of one woman (and some of her colleagues) fighting back, but that asshat governor could just call another special session and try all over again. That one isn't over by a long shot.

Terri Osburn said...

Forgot again. YAY FOR 10 PAGES!! That's great, Scape. So at the end of the 2 weeks you should have a really rough first draft. That's pretty cool, actually.

MsHellion said...

Yes, it bothered me when the governor made that winkwinknudge crap, hinting at a special session. Gah. I will admit, I was surprised they filabusted it at all...because let's be real, I was pretty sure the state bled red.

Terri Osburn said...

There's red and then there's assholery on a ginormous level. This is above and beyond the usual assholery.

Janga said...

Twenty pages a day! I'm in awe, Scape. You go, girl!

I have never taken an online class or attended a conference workshop on writing. I did take a couple of creative writing classes in grad school, but other than giving me deadlines that I had to meet, I didn't take away a great deal from them. I would love to take Barbara Samuel's online class on voice, but I've never had the money and the time to invest at the same time. She limits the class to eight, and I'm sure it's worth the $200+, but I need to be sure I have the time to do it properly if I'm spending that much money on it.

Terri Osburn said...

Janga, she did a really condensed version of that class for a conference here in town in May of 2012. I was the moderator. There were a lot of aha! moments from the attendees. I'd love to take the course in full too, but had no idea it was that expensive.

MsHellion said...

There's red and then there's assholery on a ginormous level. This is above and beyond the usual assholery.

And that's going to be my response to everything from now on until the end of the week at least. Awesome.

Maureen said...

I want someone to resurrect Anne Richardson and she could zombie stomp all over Texas and just eat...wait, she'd need brains and I'm not sure the people pushing this crap have brains...

P. Kirby said...

Sigh...Texas...makes me even more ashamed to be a Texas native.

As for workshops, I got nothin'. Currently taking a belly dancing class which has been traumatic, but in a good way. Had to come up with a short routine this past week. Having survived that, I now need to come up with another, next week. Me and my two left (or maybe it's right?) feet. Sooo out of my comfort zone.

:)

MsHellion said...

Don't worry, Pat. There are a lot of RED states around. You can be ashamed in about 60% of the country for asinine behavior, which there's a new story every other day. We're doing our parts to be blue-bloods. :)

And kick ass on the belly dancing routine!! AWESOME!! Applaud, applaud!!

Janga said...

Yeah, it should be noted that even in red states, there are a lot of blue voters. In Georgia, for example, Obama/Biden won 45.6 percent of the vote in the last election. This is a touchy point right now since there is an abundance of people commenting on the Paula Deen mess who are proclaiming all Southerners ignorant and racist.

Terri Osburn said...

I've been in the south since 1994. There is racism. Depends on where you are and it's also a generational thing. Spent my first 18 years up north. There is racism. Depends on where you are and it's also a generational thing.

Seriously, it still exists everywhere in some form or another. That's why we have to keep progressing forward.

Janga said...

Terri, I didn't mean to suggest that there is no racism in the South. Certainly there is, but, as you say, prejudice is a human disease, not a regional one. And racist and Southern are not synonyms.

MsHellion said...

I did not know that about the last election. That gives me hope. I think MO was kinda close like that with the last election. *LOL* :) But yeah, racism is everywhere as Terri pointed out. There isn't a place in this country where people can feel superior that they're not bigots in some form or another. Just gotta keep educatin' and not hatin'.

Not sure how I feel about the Paula Deen thing. Mostly I feel on her side, but feel bad that I am, but in the sense that we've ALL said shitty things; we've all told off-color jokes; and I can remember a time or two in the 80s when I dreamed of a Gone with the Wind wedding theme. Was it wrong to say? Yes. Was the wedding remarks tacky as hell? Oh, yes. Does some of this stuff deserve context, reason, and some judicious weighing of generational and locational gaps? Definitely yes. Will she learn from it? Lord I hope so, but how could you not with the shitfirestorm that's come out of it? We're ALL learning from this.

My coworker was talking about the doublestandard for this. Paula says it and she's immediately fired. But there are a couple inflammatory on purpose chefs on the Food Network that I wouldn't cry if they got rid of, and no one says boo about the crap they say--and they're offensive too.

Ted Nugent says something offensive every freaking day...no one touches him, do they? Come on.

Terri Osburn said...

Janga, I was responding to the the idea of all those people you refer saying everyone in the south was racist. Not you directly. That's like saying there are no country folk above the Mason Dixon Line. It's just a generalization that isn't even close to be true.

Terri Osburn said...

I was on Paula's side until that debacle of an apology this morning. For one, she doesn't need to apologize for using the N-word on time in her life. That's not even the point of this. But that's what she (and the media) are using to distract from the point.

The woman who brought the lawsuit didn't accuse Paula of using racial slur. That was one question in a deposition that has been put at the center of this when it doesn't even touch the real issues.

MsHellion said...

I haven't seen the TODAY show "apology", but now am curious what the hell they're skirting around. Interesting.

Janga said...

Terri, I hold no brief for Paula Deen in this situation. I am angered by the regional slurs.