Saturday, September 27, 2014

A second post in one day

Nothing for a month, and now two posts in one day.

I just got back from the Baltimore Book Festival, where I ran into the good folks at the Baltimore Review, who are publishing my first-ever-published story next month. I met some of the editors, and attended a talk they gave on "making the ordinary extraordinary."

I'm kind of cynical about "community" in writing. I don't like cooperative projects. I like to either be given a job or not given it, and if I'm given it, then I want to do it. And I'm not a terribly let's-all-hold-hands kind of guy. But it was sort of nice to feel a sense of a community of writers. It's inspired me to do something  I started to do a few weeks ago, and got sidetracked on. I'm going to try to find a workshop to join.

If I'm really the "workshop heretic," I guess that might seem a little hypocritical. I really did dislike the workshops in grad school. You'd have ten kids, eight of whom wrote stuff that was a total mess (I was often one of them.) The kids all had totally different aesthetic senses, most of which we were all still developing. We were all sure of ourselves, which made it hard to listen to each other. But more than anything, we were all BUSY. So busy reading so much, that we really didn't put the effort into really reading each other. The thoughts in a workshop like that are always canned, just something done so you can fulfill your obligation to participate. For all the money you spend in grad school, I'd really rather you just have a few hours one-on-one with the instructor each semester and mostly ignore the other students. Or, I'd have liked to have paired up one-to-one with someone I mostly saw eye-to-eye with, and just exchanged ideas with that person.

I'm hoping that a workshop of amateurs, such as the ones I can find through the Maryland Writer's Association, might have smaller egos and less overall reading workload.  I wrote to one a few weeks ago, but the leader never got back to me. I'm going to write to another one this week. I'll let you know how it goes.

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