Writing Workshops

I tend to hate writing workshops because the only feedback I ever get is…

  • “This is good.”
  • “I like it.”
  • “There’s nothing you need to change.”

But I had a much better, more constructive experience today.

I wonder when my luck is going to run out.


12 thoughts on “Writing Workshops

  1. I think it all depends on how seriously the other people take it. I was in writing “workshops” as part of my creative writing classes and while I took it seriously because I want to be a published author someday, my classmates saw our creative writing as “homework” rather than a story. So I know what you mean when people kind of brush it off like that. It was required to comment on at least two stories by our classmates. There were sometimes when I wanted to ask, “Did you even read it, or did you just say it was good because you HAVE to respond to a story?”

    But back in January I joined a writer’s group and we’re all serious about writing and we’re all in the same boat. Our host is fantastic and really knows what he’s talking about when he gives us feedback. The other members give good comments, but aren’t as helpful sometimes. But I think that’s also because it’s a learning curve for us all. We’ve never been in a group with other writers before and therefore have never “edited” and “critiqued” someone else’s work. Of course we’ve been in this group for almost a year now, so we’ll all learning and getting to know each other as well.

    Sorry for the ramble! I’m just saying that if you stick with it, it’ll get better in time. Good luck! 🙂


    1. Yeah that’s true. The people in the group make all the difference. And since I’ve only participated in workshops for school, a lot of people never took it seriously. I know what you mean. Anytime the teacher makes us share our work, it’s like the class feels obligated to give some kind of feedback. Plus saying it was good is much easier than making any other kind of comment. Exactly.
      Mhm so long as everyone is learning and growing, I have no complaints. I think I’m starting to realize just how difficult editing and critiquing really is. That’s awesome! Don’t be sorry. Thanks, I will.


      1. Editing and critiquing is hard. I’ve learned a lot from my group and realized that I was making self-editing more difficult than it needed to be.


  2. You may be suffering from “big fish in a small pond” syndrome. I know that people were woefully unhelpful in high school because I was hands-down the best writer in the class….not to brag, I was legitimately the only person who liked or cared about writing, so no one else even tried. In college, I had some competition, but a lot of kids were still there for an easy A or an English credit. If you go to a true writer’s workshop that is noncurricular, you’ll probably get real feedback. Asking people who don’t care about writing to judge your writing is rarely helpful.


    1. Oh I am. Most of my classmates in high school didn’t like writing, much less take it seriously. Ah I don’t find that surprising at all. You were probably better than everyone combined. A lot of people think writing is easy and can get an easy A, which I can’t wrap my head around. Mhm I need to get out of this academic writing workshop experience.


  3. This is a very difficult and important question you raise. If you can find other serious writers, and you see quality in their work, and you trust them to look at your work in terms of what you are trying to accomplish, then workshops can be useful. But, you do need caution when proceeding.


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