Writer’s block. Blank page paralysis. Fear of finishing. Fear of beginning. Fear of rejection. We’ve all been there in some form or fashion. But can writing workshops help you move past this stagnant state?

I’ve taken many writing workshops over the years, from month-long online courses, to day-long writing workshops, to multiple Immersions from Margie Lawson (both on land and on our cruises), to 30-minute sessions at writing conferences. And what I’ve found from each and every one of these writing workshops is that they always re-energize my writing.

So what is it about writing workshops that help conquer writerly fear of…you name it?

Writing workshops are a gathering place for other writers in the same place as you

One of the biggest benefits writers get from writing workshops is that you’re in a room surrounded with other writers who are learning the same thing as you, and are often experiencing the same troubles as you are.

I attended a fabulous workshop with a bestselling author that was supposed to be on writing craft, but when she started answering questions, she realized that the majority of the room was interested in her move from traditional to indie…and she stayed for a few hours extra answering questions, giving guidance and encouragement, and sharing personal publishing stories.

I can guarantee the majority of the writers in that room went home with renewed energy for both their writing, and this business.

In fact, that workshop, along with an Immersion writing workshop I attended, led me to building one of the pillars of our writing retreats: we will always have a resident bestselling author on board our regular retreats who is willing to offer publishing wisdom and be an open book about both their successes and their failures.

Writing workshops build confidence

Do you have an area of writing craft in which you struggle? Maybe it’s writing compelling dialogue, or building a credible and vivid world. Maybe it’s getting emotion on the page, or understanding story structure so that you’re writing to the expected beats of your chosen genre. Finding workshops that speak to areas in which you struggle are a great way to move past blank pages and writing fears.

Personally, I’m stoked about Kristen Lamb and Rachel Caine‘s talks on the October 2018 cruise. Kristen is speaking to the art of storytelling, and after watching a couple of her online courses, I can’t wait to listen and learn from her as she goes more in depth to building great villains and heroes, story structure, and dealing with conflict. Rachel Caine is talking about writing in multi-genres–as a bestselling author in multiple genres, she should know! I can’t wait to gather some advice and wisdom from her on not being pigeon-holed into a particular genre.

Writing workshops can help spark the ol’ engine

There’s something about being with other authors that you just can’t replicate. An energy happens that gets the creative juices flowing. When you add learning a new skill set or strengthening one you already have, it’s a win-win. Writing workshops give you this spark. Combining time spent with other authors to invoke the muse and improving our writing craft in one session or week-long retreat, make writing workshops well worth the investment.

So what do you do when the writer fear hits?

My advice? Find a writing workshop. Near or far, it’s sure to inspire if you keep your mind open and go in with a learning spirit.




  • I have to say, after attending a writer’s cruise this past October (which I admittedly did on a whim), it has seriously energized my writing…for me, it was the spark to help me Get The Book Done. Through the cruise, I met a bunch of other like-minded writers, and during NaNo, we sprinted…and now we do it a lot. The camaraderie from the cruise — both the engagement with the “stars” as well as other writers like me — as well as the focus on craft has been the juice I needed to get my butt moving. THANK YOU!

    • Justine, this is so fantastic to hear! And you know what? You’ve become a cheerleader for others in the process. You’re helping us ALL get our writing butts in gear! I so appreciate you!

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