I do give writing workshops, though few and far between. I doubt I can be classed as a specialist in anything, I am more a ‘nuts and bolts’ instructor. However, I do write a lot of supernatural material, and I am adept at dialogue. Both are fun to play around with.
I was blessed at one Supernatural workshop to have every student both interested, and showing an accomplishment in writing. There is, of course, more chance of this when they are laying down the big bucks, but it is still appreciated.
One of the students took me aback during the course of the day. She had handled my bizarre and distracting writing exercise with aplomb, which is always positive. However, in more general discussions, she balked at my dictat that writers must write at regular times, preferably every day. She did not have the time (with young children at home). She even stole time when a child bathed, by scribbling quickly while watching the child. Although there was time in the late evening, she refused to intrude on that. She watched TV and let her mind rest. I can readily accept that part, as that is what I also do. I doubt I could be creative past nine o’clock even if it meant I would win the Booker.
In the afternoon, she surprised me by, quite frankly, looking ten years younger. She was relaxed and more engaging. I like to think she was reacting to being able to be somewhere where all she had to do was deal with writing. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
In the course of further general discussion, she tossed off the fact that, the previous year, she had “written a novel”. At first we thought she was in jest. However, she was taking a course from some ‘by mail’ organization, where they give exercises and critiqued work returned to them. The woman who had no time, had written a novel in a year (besting me by a year and a half). I know from her writing abilities it would not be a poor novel, and, if nothing else, it was a foundation to other writing. I don’t even know if she’ll submit it to a publisher – it was a learning exercise.
Kudos to her, said I, and every student agreed.