Tonight I had that writing workshop that I signed up for, dropped out of, and then signed up for again. It was most definitely a learning process.
First of all, we were all given all of the pieces to read over beforehand. Not all of us got all of the pieces- I only got seven out of the ten. But I noticed a certain trend in the pieces I did recieve: they were all either short stories or prose poetry and they were all thoughtful and deep and dramatic. Lord knows what everyone thought when they opened up my dialogue-driven, snarky YA piece.
I'm not saying this in a self-deprecating way. I was confident in what I had submitted. But it was so radically different from anyone else's that it stuck out glaringly, and I still don't know if that was a good or bad thing; no one seemed to know how to react. Throughout the workshop, I was listening to other pieces being read and thinking, "How did I get here?"
The workshop itself was pretty awesome. We were put in this conference room in the castle (which used to be the owner's smoking room back in the late 1800s) and the thick wooden doors blocked out every sound. We could whisper and hear each other. It was a very cool and relaxing environment.
The host of the workshop is an academic librarian here at my school and is also a published writer (of short stories, I believe.) I've seen her around, but we've never really met, and I expected her to be either really mean or too shy to even really speak. But instead she was this quietly lively, fun person who gave everyone great feedback.
I had expected to see some people I knew, but there was only one person I had met there; most of the participants were graduate students, which was a little intimidating. But they all turned out to be very nice, too.
I was the last to go- I think she went in the order in which she had recieved our pieces, and due to the rehearsal debacle, I submitted mine six days late. Again, it was very weird because, after all of the flowy, deep prose poetry, my excerpt was like having a bucket of cold water dumped over you. It was more marked than one night in Play & Screenwriting when we present our monologues; the girl before me had jut finished weeping as a dying soldier and then I jumped in with a piece of fast-paced, ridiculous excuses.
Overall, though, the piece was well-recieved. People were pretty complimentary of it and they also gave me some fantastic suggestions- some of which I've already taken. I'm really glad I participated; it was awesome to be sitting in a room of people who are just as dedicated to this as I am. I hope I can do something like that again :)
(Also, I'm now officially a creative writing minor at school!)