When I started DublinWriter Creative Writing Services I knew that things would be slow. I didn’t expect a mad surge. What I’ve got has been a nice, steady flow of workshop attendance so far. Sometimes I have only one or two people, and although that sounds a bit disappointing, in reality it isn’t, because it ensures that everyone gets a lot of attention, and that has gone down rather well.
Of course, I also think “The more the merrier” and would love a full class. One week I came close, with 7 people. That was a lovely vibe! Lots of back and forth, and input from everyone, which is what it’s all about.
I alternate my workshops each fortnight between an educational one (foscussing on a different aspect of creative writing each time - flash fiction, short stories, editing etc etc) and one to get maximum output with prompts and tips for inspiration. These sessions are designed to get you away from the stresses and strains of everyday life and to help you find the time to actually write, something it is hard to do with our busy lives. There is a friendly atmosphere, plenty of tea, coffee and biscuits… and no excuse NOT to write.
On 9thMarch I did a workshop called “From First Idea to Second Draft” and it was a fabulous morning. We had lots of discussion about the projects we were working on, with feedback from everyone in the room. Lots of lively discussion, which was brilliant. Then we reworked a little of the writing, taking into account feedback we had received. What came out of this session was pure magic. It is so good when there is that kind of aura in the room.
On 16thMarch I did a workshop for City Voices Creative Writers Group, the group of which I am chair. We like to share out the task of workshops and “keeping the troops entertained” and this week it fell to me. I really enjoyed it, using some of the exercises I use in my DublinWriter workshops. Everyone seemed to get something out of it, and one of the exercises elicited some amusing results.
Last one of the three lately was at West End Methodist Centre and Café on Monday. I do workshops there once every 4 weeks. This one is trickier to fill, and I hope to be able to keep it up, but with just two this time, I was only just breaking even. I know it’s not always about making money – the two people who come there regularly are wonderful, especially one of them, and I know they get a lot out of it. But I hope I can find some way of attracting more people to that. One of the attendees had quite an epiphany about fiction writing. He is an elderly gentleman who has never really written anything fictional, but he started to “get it” and, more importantly I think, to enjoy it.
Moving forward into this year, my dream is to just get 5 or 6 people at least at each workshop, to ensure a constant flow of ideas. The main aim is to get people writing things in the prompts workshops which they can develop using the tips and advice in the themed teaching workshops. But, if I have learned anything in this writing game, it’s that nothing comes easily or quickly. It plods, it takes its time. But the rewards can more than make up for that.