I think what makes any experience all that much better is the people you share it with. And to come into a group of strangers, spend the week with them (and if you are in workshop with them, this means 18 hours), and get to know them and feel that you share something, is really quite special.
This past week I met some remarkable people and I’m grateful that they spent time with me. While most of the people were from the West Coast, there were some of us from the East and some from the Midwest as well. All in all, a great, well-rounded group of people.
I’ll admit that on my first day (last Saturday) when I was cranky from not much sleep the night before and tired from travelling, I felt immediately weary upon hearing everyone around me overzealously dishing on “craft” and “the writing process”, but my crankiness quickly wore off as the workshop heated up and the people around me started to show their distinctions.
And so what you learn is that calling Squaw a “community of writers” is not just a phrase tossed off and used lightly; what you learn is that it really is a community, despite what anyone might say. There is an attitude of one-ness, of helping, and of encouragement. And I don’t mean to sound so Pollyanna, but after two years of experiencing this workshop, I do believe in the community more than ever.
Okay, I’m going to shut up now because I think I have wrung this topic dry for now. But let me just say one more thing for you writers who might be reading this, if you are considering workshops for the future, I hope this is one you will put high on your list.