Wow! After four days of intensive workshopping at UCLA, I both exhausted and jazzed. There’s nothing like focusing on nothing but writing, surrounded by nothing but writers, which to jumpstart the creative processes.
First of all, I was lucky, being in a small class which had such diverse voices, but all interesting and engaging. Secondly, our instructor, Noel Alumit, (wrote “Letters to Montgomery Clift” and “Talking to the Moon”) is a well-recognized novelist, who is giving and caring about the students. Thirdly, he brought in Sandra Zane, a literary agent from Global Literary Management, who also seems to care about writers, writing, reading, good work – along with all the rest of the business aspects. But she did remind us, as I’ve heard many times before, first page, even the first page of your work, as well as your query letter, most important words you might ever write. As a publicist, you always knew that an editor would give you ten seconds to engage their interest, make it work. (Now of course with emails, you probably don’t get that much time before the delete button is engaged.)
Also, the class reminded me how much exercises can help in getting the creative processes going. Even those which don’t seem directly connected to your work. It all feeds in and besides you can always find a way to use it for the work if you are truy open to new possibilities.
Okay, after four days non-stop, I have to go lie down and take a nap.