I loved being in a writing group for 7 years. I loved getting my MFA.
I believe in writing workshops–the craft, the community, sharing your work, learning from others’ work, the discussions, the inspiration. And oh, the places you’ll go. I’m on the board of Writing by Writers, which hosts workshops for writers.
But for two and a half years I did all three–writing group, MFA, and summer workshops. And it was fun. But it was, at the least, five workshops a year as well as monthly individual critiques.
I overdid it.
I am easily swayed. I see the good in everyone else’s suggestions. And it got so that I could no longer hear my own voice.
It’s been two years since I was in a workshop. And last fall I began to see the benefit from my time off–I received a manuscript critique from a trusted reader, and instead of changing everything because yes, that was a good point, I was able to recognize the places that should stay the way they were. And I knew why.