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How Writers Benefit from Writing Workshops

How writers benefit from writing workshops is in the connection and collaboration they get from exchanging ideas with other creative people.

by Jenna Kalinsky.

Let’s put it right out there: you’re … different from normal people. (Yes, yes, of course, we’re all different, unique, jewels in our boxes, etc.) Your way of processing the world and tangling with it is intrinsically related to your being a creative person. Science shows us that how creative people connect with their ideas and engage with them is scientifically proven not only to be different from others, but also pretty great.*

(not that people who don’t identify as creative aren’t great. They’re awesome. But you will see in a second why living and processing creatively is its own kind of remarkable).

Neurologist Marcus Raichle discovered that creative people access their brains across a “default node network,” which engages many regions in several lobes across the surface of the brain. The creative brain is busy “flexibly activating and deactivating these brain networks, which in most people are at odds with each other. In doing so, they are able to juggle seemingly contradictory modes of thought—cognitive and emotional, deliberate and spontaneous. This allows them to draw on a wide range of strengths, characteristics and thinking styles in their work.”

The work he’s talking about is what you do to processes your world. You record your experience and explore it with inquiry and depth to broaden your experience and appreciate the complexity in all things.

birds in flight writing inspiration for One Lit Place at onelitplace.comYou probably do this through writing (or why else would you be reading this?) – in song, in a journal, in fiction or essay or poetry or on scraps of paper while waiting for the dentist. See, you keep scraps of paper and a pen around because you know that when you’re waiting for the dentist, there’s a chance, like there’s a chance while you’re jogging or stirring soup or scaling a mountain- that you may be struck by inspiration, such as the way the light is hitting the window, or curiosity hits and you want to unpack your ideas, or you know that meditating on something that bothers or intrigues will bloom further understanding and empathy, or you just love the way the scarf is tucked around the neck of the woman beside you, and you need to describe the folds and particular shape of it so these details come to exist even after she casts it off.

Look around. This is not what everyone does at the dentist.


Creative Connections Are Vital to the Creative Person

Aside from all the thinking, what truly benefits the creative person is to connect with other creative people. Writing is isolating enough. Seeing the world uniquely across your networks wants for sharing, connection, and an embodied sense of being heard and appreciated.

Creative people know: being among people who get it and celebrate how you process the world feels like home.

It’s known that creative people who hang out and connect with other creative people find immense satisfaction. Doing this among different voices, inspirations, camaraderie, and within an infrastructure designed to push you to your best work- these things make writers better, stronger, and more successful.

A writing course helps creative people do what they do better with education, guidance, and insider tips for success. Plus doing it amongst people like you provides valuable support. After all, you speak the same language.

Our projects come and go, but writing in and of itself happens on a continuum. Our improvement in craft, how we come to feel adept in our writing style, and which projects we give our time and energy to all belong to that process. Doing your learning and growth in a group of smart, invested peers is one of the best ways to be inspired and to provoke more, and better, work, and according to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, is “a necessary component of the creative process.”

Give yourself a good transformation: begin one of our courses as yourself and end changed, fuller, charged with ideas, and more creative than before. Check out our course descriptions, register here, and know that soon you will be operating inside of an inspiring, collaborative network where you will get the work done.

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