When I began writing, I avoided writer workshops for the simple reason that, in my opinion, a workshop's tendency will always be to push you towards the known writing style of the day. Since I was interested in pushing out into unknown or little visited territories, a writer's workshop would not work for me. Pushing into these areas meant acquiring new skills and learning how to make these stories work on their own terms, and who in a workshop had any experience in that?
As a writer, I am concerned with very few types of response:
- What did you enjoy? What grabbed you?
- What did not not enjoy? What made you want to stop reading?
Those are the only responses that matter to me because those are the only responses that really matter. My job, ultimately, is to entertain you and engage you, and I can't do that like somebody else, I have to do that like me.