The first four online workshops are now done, for the most part. The writers who took the classes are going back over the entire six weeks of videos to review. (Or at least I hope they are.) And that’s a lot of reviewing, since there are about forty or more videos to look at for each class. But except for answering a few questions here and there, my job is done.
Thanks, everyone, who participated in the first four.
So what did I learn?
First: Doing these workshops was great fun for me. I’m not sure what I was thinking in that regard, but it turned out that reading the assignments, thinking about them, interacting with the writers, was a ton of fun. Far, far more than I thought it would be.
Second: Doing these workshops didn’t take a lot of my time away from my writing or other activities. Honestly, I was worried about that. That worry didn’t turn out to be the case at all for me. I worked the time needed to focus on the workshops in and around the writing and other tasks, and often worked on a few assignments at a time during a break because it got my mind thinking in other directions. So not having the workshops be disruptive to my life and writing was a wonderful surprise. Trust me, when writers are here in town for the workshops here on the coast, my life stops for that week. (grin)
Third: I ended up learning more about each topic I taught. Now I understand that the best way to learn about something is to attempt to teach it, but realize that some of these workshops I have taught here on the coast three or four times. So when Kris and I set up the structure for each online workshop, I figured I would be going over again what I had already done before. Turns out that with these online workshops, there are different questions than when in person, and the writers forced me into thinking about things I had never thought about before. And that helped me learn even more, almost every week with all four workshops. So again, thank you all for that. Great fun for me. I love learning.
Fourth: There are some really, really fine writers out there who also love to learn. I had the pleasure to watch writers mature in seemingly fast speed. Especially in the Pitches and Blurbs and Openings workshops. Both of those are craft focused where the writers were writing new work almost every assignment. (The Cliffhangers workshop and the Genre Structure workshops were also craft focused, but not as much writing because of the nature of the topic. More study assignments that were, at times, more difficult than writing new.)
Fifth: I got the chance to meet online some writers I might never had had the chance to meet otherwise. And that’s very cool. I expected that to a degree, but not to the level that it happened. And now I am a fan of a bunch of new writers coming in.
Were there any downsides to the online workshops?
Simply put: Nope. I can’t think of a one.
In fact, I’m looking forward to the December workshops starting up. And after watching these work for me, Allyson is looking forward to the January Cover and Interior workshops to start as well.
And I got some great suggestions on how to improve the workshops for the future from those who took them. Some of the suggestions were not right for these workshops, other suggestions Kris and I will work into the future workshops, and a few basic ones I will do starting in December. Thanks for the help folks.
And I sure hope the workshops worked as well for those taking them as they did for me on this side. The feedback has been great so far, which also is wonderful to hear. So thanks for that as well. Very much appreciated.
So here are the workshop openings available for the next three months.
I will have this list updated over on the right side column and will update this post during the next week or so as well. If you are interested in signing up for any of these workshops, please carefully follow the instructions under the Online Workshops tab above.
For those of you interested and afraid these might take up too much of your time, let me be clear here. They take just over an hour to watch the videos each week. The videos are divided into ten minute segments, so you don’t have to spend the entire hour all at once. The assignments often take about two hours per week. So if you can carve out four or five hours per week for the workshop, you will have all the time you need to really do it right and watch the videos more than once.
So even with the holidays coming up in December, you should be fine and have more than enough time to give the focus to your writing.
Workshop Schedule Openings.
(Again, if interested, follow the instructions under Online Workshops tab above. There are also full descriptions of each workshop there. The dates are the day the workshop starts.)
Workshop #5… (Mon Dec 3rd) Cliffhangers… 2 spots open
Workshop #6…(Tues Dec 4th) Pitches and Blurbs… 2 spots open
Workshop #7… (Wed Dec 5th) Essentials… 2 spots open
Workshop #8… (Thurs Dec 6th) Idea to Story… Full
Workshop #8a… (Fri Dec 7th) Idea to Story… 5 spots open
Workshop #D1… (Mon Jan 7th) Book Cover Design… Full
Workshop #D2…(Tues Jan 8th) Book Cover Design… 6 spots open
Workshop #D3… (Wed Jan 9th) Interior Book Design… 6 spots open
Workshop #D4… (Thurs Jan 10th) Interior Book Design… 8 spots open
Workshop #9… (Mon Feb 4th) Cliffhangers… 8 spots open
Workshop #10…(Tues Feb 5th) Pitches and Blurbs… 5 spots open
Workshop #11… (Wed Feb 6th) Genre Structure… 6 spots open
Workshop #12… (Thurs Feb 7th) Openings… 5 spots open
Workshop #12a… (Fri Feb 8th) Idea to Story… 12 spots
I sure hope you can join me and Allyson (and Kris helping behind the scenes) for these online workshops. Any questions, feel free to write me directly or ask in the comments section.