I attended a writer’s workshop in the library. It’s more like a forum for participants to share their writings and less about improving them. Some of the pieces read are quite good, others need revision. The writing process is pretty much ignored. There’s occasionally a writing prompt which can help an individual who has a fear of facing blank pages. Generally, these exercises don’t lead to a finished work. I’ve learned that less information in a prompt is better because it provides more freedom for the imagination to explore ideas.

I’ve frequently used freewriting or stream of consciousness to jumpstart a writer suffering from brain freeze. The pen never stops moving on the paper for a finite amount of time. Self-editing while writing a first draft can destroy the flow of thought. It’s much better to delay editing until the whole piece is written as a first draft. Rather than worrying about spelling and grammar, the next step in the process is revision. This is a time for the writer to concentrate on whether the purpose of the writing is clear to the reader, the language is precise in meaning and is descriptive. ( ex. he said or he declared) The organization of paragraphs and sentences has a logical flow and is artistic or unique.

Revision is challenging for most writers, it’s fraught with insecurity, at times it can be painful to remove gems of language that just don’t work for the piece. Editing differs from revision. It’s more about the technical aspects of writing, verb agreement, punctuation and spelling. Some editors work only in development. Others do copy editing correcting errors.

A participant in the workshop claimed writing is not meant for an audience it’s for oneself. I disagree unless the purpose is to record events and feelings in a journal or diary not meant for other’s eyes. I see writing as a form of communication for an unknown audience, made to be shared. The writer’s purpose should be evident to the audience. They will be entertained, persuaded or informed.

I write to paint pictures with words, to draw emotions from the reader, to express myself in a unique way. Writing provides me with the opportunity to solve the puzzle of plot and character. I hope to tell my truth through fiction. I write because words are the tools I use to paint a story and the better I use those tools, the better my writing becomes. Most of all, I write to be read by others.