The 2013 Writing Life Workshop

writing life workshop*Ding*

On Wednesday my phone alerted me to an appointment. I glanced at the time: 2:00 p.m. What did I schedule at two o’clock on the day before Thanksgiving?

I swiped the screen to check my calendar.

Ah. It thought I was supposed to be sitting at my computer for what had been known for the past 12 weeks as “office hours.” I forgot to tell my phone that “office hours” are over.

For these past three months, I’ve facilitated (along with Charity Singleton Craig) a Tweetspeak online workshop comprised of a vibrant group of writers who, in community, explored 12 essential elements of their writing lives.

Over the weeks, we read and responded to writing submissions, developing deep respect and affection for every person in the group as creatives, writers, and friends. Each Wednesday afternoon at two o’clock Eastern Time, those of us who were available would gather online in our private workshop space to interact (via message threads), about writing, about life, about struggles and questions or ideas and solutions, or about all of the above.

People would come and go as their schedules allowed. Some members couldn’t break away to join that discussion time due to work or obligations, so they dropped in later at their convenience to continue the conversation with more questions, more ideas.

We’ve drawn inspiration and energy from each other. We’ve experimented and made discoveries. We’ve dreamed big and taken risks. We’ve built trust.

After enjoying each other so much for so long, it’s hard to step away from the online space where we developed these relationships, but I look forward to what’s next for each person. After all, the end of one thing is the beginning of another. In the blocks of time that have opened up now that the workshop has ended, we can begin projects that we’d been toying with but didn’t have time for. We can actively pursue goals and finish manuscripts. We can start living the writing life not just hypothetically in workshop discussions, but in earnest.

As we begin new things, we’ll keep tabs on each other, celebrating someone’s byline and waving at each other through social media.

I’m delighted to have helped facilitate this rich, playful, productive time together.

I’m honored to have traveled alongside these writers on this leg of their journey.

And I’m thankful, so thankful, for each one of them.


The Writing Life workshop was made possible through Tweetspeak Poetry. Though this workshop has ended, Tweetspeak offers a variety of workshops throughout the year, so check in from time to time or follow them on Facebook to see what’s planned. And Tweetspeak is committed to helping writers become who they really are by creating ongoing opportunities for writers to learn, play, and grow. so jump in and try a writing prompt or take a virtual literary tour. Explore this literary community for inspiration to start living your own writing life right now. 

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  • Comments

    1. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Our guests just left with some of the left overs too. Daughter Becky lives 4 miles from us with husband and daughter Ashley, Our son Steve, his wife Debbie and sons Blake and Max were with us too. Daughter Judie and husband Chuck stayed home as her girls were coming for Thanksgiving and also Christmas. I hope you made it to the retreat – I saw the notice that you planned to attend. Perhaps next year for me.

      • Hazel, I’m so glad to see you here. The 12 weeks of the workshop required a lot of focus, and as time progressed (I also teach a high school writing class and edited a book), I let Food on Fridays slip away. I will try to explain in another post at a later date, but I sure appreciate you sticking with me and being here, after my unexplained silence. Bless you.

        Sounds like your Thanksgiving was lovely–a belated Happy Thanksgiving to you! Yes, I did go to the retreat and found it to be delightful. Thank you for asking.

    2. So, so thankful for you and Charity and for the richness of this feast you spread–and for all those who sat at the table. I’m so very full in so many ways.

      • This makes me so happy, Sandra. Each precious person had a place at the table. I, too, feel full. Happy Thanksgiving to you, friend. I can’t wait to sit with you again, soon.

    3. I can only say . . . WOW.

    4. Your thoughts always persuade my pen to paper and fingers to the keys. I’m so thankful
      for your honesty and heart that beats for heaven.

    5. Sigh. Transitions are always a little bit poignant — sometimes bordering on sad, too. Thank you (and Charity) for these last 12 weeks of community, challenge, encouragement and fine, fine words. You are a rich gift in my life and I thank you for being here.

      • I agree, Diana. To have the workshop come to an end while I was traveling made it difficult to think clearly the best way to wrap it up. It felt like a combination of abrupt and dwindling.

        But you have been a voice of encouragement all along the way to every person, offering specific observations to help participants take their writing to the next step. Charity and I were facilitators, yes, but the group formed an identity of its own that offered so much. I’m so glad you joined, Diana, and I hope you begin to gain vision, clarity and confidence in your own projects as you move ahead. You are a joy. I’m so glad you are in my life.

    6. “After all, the end of one thing is the beginning of another.”–good words for today, the first Sunday of Advent, new year’s (on church time).

    7. Praying for you today, friend. That God will continue to open doors that allow you to walk into the next place. I’m believing that you’ll see new opportunities unfold, and that they will bring you increased joy, fulfillment and yes, income. :)

      Love you!

      • Cheryl! Thank you–what an encouragement you are! I’m looking forward to the weeks, even months, ahead. New things. New opportunities. And new ways of working with people utilizing my gift mix. Thank you for recognizing such important benefits: joy, fulfillment, and yes, income. Two in college….income helps.

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