Online Writing Workshop4 ways to improve your writing through an online writing workshop

Writing is by nature a solitary profession. Whether you're just starting to explore your love of words or are wrapping up a novel, you can benefit from online writing workshops. They offer numerous benefits to writers at all levels and can give your creativity a boost. Consider these ways you will be able to harness your creative writing powers by participating in one right now.

1. You have a set schedule for writing

Writing is like a muscle. If you don't exercise regularly, you get flabby. At the beginning of a new workout schedule, most people are very enthusiastic. They tend to lose interest within the first month or so when distractions get in the way or their muscles start to protest. Joining a fitness class or playing a team sport is one way to stay on track. You have other people to keep you accountable.

You need to learn to exercise your writing muscle on a regular schedule. Signing up for an online writer's workshop means you will be working at your craft even on days when the words don't come easily, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. You can gain the skills necessary to work through times when you struggle to find the right way to express yourself or you just get something down, knowing that you can come back to it later when your creativity well is a bit higher.

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Editor’s note: The following is excerpted from the preface to Every Writer Has a Thousand Faces by David Biespiel. David is an award-winning poet, teacher, and president of the Attic Institute— which provides instruction, editing, workshops, weekend-retreats, and more for both professional and aspiring writers.

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If you only read one sentence in this book I hope it’s this one: A lot of the time just sticking with it is what this whole business of writing, making art, playing music, making songs, performing, and living a creative life is all about.

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Anyone who’s spent serious time in a writing group or workshop knows that not all members’ opinions are equal.

Everyone has different tastes, biases, and motives. You may occasionally find the class or group split right down the middle on a particular phrase, character, line, or plot point– half of them pleading with you to take it out, half of them claiming it’s essential to your work!

So how do you listen to the good suggestions and sift out the bad? — Check out Kristen Lamb’s article “Can Critique Groups Do More Harm Than Good?”

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Running your own informal writing workshop can be a difficult but rewarding experience. It ain’t easy to get a group of people together who are promising writers AND critical readers, who are honest but nurturing in their feedback, who are committed to meeting frequently, and who don’t smell like cheap wine all the time.

But think of the American expats meeting at 27 Rue de Fleurus. Think of the Inklings congregating in the corner of some Oxford Pub. You could be the founder of a similar literary club that makes history! And even if you don’t make history, you’ll be making each other better writers. And THAT would seem to be the true measure of its success.

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