One of my problems as a writer is an issue of self-confidence. Yes, I have a well received weekly column in a newspaper. Yes, I have been a contributing writer on a reference work (The International Book of Days). Yes, I am currently working on short stories and finished a novel.
But sometimes, I wonder: do I have what it takes? Can my fiction stuff get PUBLISHED????
That's why writing workshops like the one I am currently attending in Oregon are so important.
First off, Dean Wesley Smith (remember that name!) is not only a great writer and editor, he is a fantastic teacher. He has no problem with just hanging out with us and answering our questions. He emphasizes that while we have to tell our fellow writers what they did wrong with their novels, we also have to tell them what they did right. And when people are telling us what we did right, we'd better be writing it down!
This workshop (and the one right before it - I have been here since Friday, fueled by coffee, chocolate, Diet Dr. Pepper and bagels with cream cheese) has been an encouragement to me because the people here are WRITERS. Most of them are farther along the writing path than I am. Yet none of them see me as anything less than a writer. Like them. They take me seriously and urge me to get past the whole self-confidence issue and WRITE!
And I get a glimpse of the future and realize I can.
That alone is worth the price of admission.