Saturday, May 21, 2016

Nikki Moore: Top 5 Reasons to Attend a Writing Workshop

It’s great to welcome back Nikki Moore with her most interesting tips on attending workshops and events.

Summer is finally here, and I’ve enjoyed many hours in the garden over the last few weekends either
reading or dreaming up ideas for new books. I hope everyone’s had a chance to enjoy the sun.

As it’s the last in the writing workshop series from me for now, I thought a nice way to end it would be sharing the reasons why I think you should go to one (or many, if you have the desire and the funds!)

1.     To Learn Something New
I’m a great believer that no-one knows everything, even about their specialist subject, and that nobody ever stops being a learner. Life should be full of rich and fulfilling experiences that expand your horizons and teach you something, whether it’s new topic knowledge or discovering something about yourself. Attending a workshop should give you the solution to whatever problem may have been plaguing you or your writing, or enhance an area of your writing you want to improve, whether it’s plotting, characterisation, dialogue, setting etc.

2.     To Meet Like Minded people a.k.a You’re Not Alone!
Writing can be a very lonely business. It normally means hours spent toiling over a laptop or PC, often early in the morning or late at night if you have a day job. It’s just you in your head creating your story (although at the risk of sounding eccentric, my characters keep me company). Interruptions from other people are irritating, pulling you out of whatever scene you’re in the middle of. So, sitting in a room bouncing ideas off your peers or sharing horror stories about a saggy middle or writer’s block can be enormously comforting. It’s nice to know that other people are experiencing doubts or fears, or are stuck at a junction and can’t decide on the right direction. They can often help you, or push you on to keep going. Never underestimate the power of talking to people who really understand you.

3.     To Motivate You
Hearing other people’s success stories, which you usually do in writing workshops because most have a mixed audience of beginner’s, published authors and even best selling novelists, can really inspire you. I know they always make me think, ‘that’s amazing; if she / he can do it, surely I can.’ I just can’t wait to get home and open up the manuscript again. I feel rejuvenated and refreshed, and my writing is definitely the better for it. I remember why I love writing so much, and enjoy it even more.

4.     To Network
Writing workshops can be a great place to meet authors and industry professionals, who may be delivering a topic or appearing on a panel. You never know what writing tips you might pick up, whether it’s about a publisher looking for a certain type of book, or experiences with agents. You never know who might know someone who knows someone that might lead you to your lucky break / a new contract  / being asked to attend an event. Talking about yourself and your book is also great practice for times when you’ll need to pitch to publishers or agents, and the more you do this, the more your confidence will grow. Be sure to take your writer business cards with you to give out, if you have them. However, don’t be cynical and attend a workshop or seminar just for this reason – simply bear it in mind as an added extra. Lunch time or coffee breaks are the time to do this, NOT during the sessions.

5.     New Material for Promo
Whether you’re published or not, the expectation is that you’ll have a social media presence. Publishers and agents often use this in their decision making. So set up a blog, Twitter, Facebook – whatever you think will suit you best – establish your author brand, and use the workshop experience as material for promo. Write a blog post about it, and/or Tweet about it with pictures of the venue, hashtag #amwriting or #writingworkshops and include the tutor’s Twitter handle if they have one. This can be effective publicity, and can also show that you’re serious about this writing lark.

Have I convinced you yet? Have you ever attended a workshop and if so, what do you think? Why not book a place on a workshop and feedback your thoughts in the comments below?

Enjoy! Nikki xx

Thank you for your most enjoyable article, Nikki. We look forward to hearing from you in the future and wish you well with your writing. Thank you for the many interviews you’ve undertaken for the RNA blog.

If you would like to write for the RNA blog or be interviewed about your latest novel please contact the Blog Team on

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