Friday, August 26, 2011

The geek spirit is winding down

okay, maybe that's a misleading title, I meant to say I'm tired. F1 is a workshop tick, and as I told meham, I'd expected it to hang there, limp and disgusting, while other more fabulous workshops glittered in the artificial light. But...now I have a strong suspicion that people are looking for answers--something I've always known, but not in such a personal overview-like sense.

A way to look at themselves and analyze what's holding them back, and if that means they've got to think about some of my very random thoughts on poking around down in their squishy parts--they're going to do it.

F1 is swelling like a blood-engorged tick, making me happy. Continuing to give me new realizations and thoughts I want to scribble in the margins. Can you separate the need for acceptance from accepting the wrong opinions? Is there a yardstick for opinions that work for you and don't? Why doesn't someone tell people that there are many paths to writing and each is equally valid?

I did an exercise yesterday. Because I didn't know how to explain it without sounding more than a little too academic and either randomly weird or condescending as hell, I just created a template and did about six evals on other workshops in relation to my learning style, my right or left-brained tendencies and my myer-briggs type.

It is probably the best exercise I've ever created. Four simple lines.


A Listing of Right-brained and Left-brained workshops with comments


Feel free to add your own thoughts and "constructive" comments. Personal observations about how your writing processes worked with the workshop. What you liked, what didn't work and what might work to make it connect better.

Sample crit template:

Title:
Left or right brain:

Strengths:

Weakness/constructive crit:

In my defense, it looks goofy because I've been averaging two hours of sleep for the last four days and it's looking like another 22 hour stretch of typing--okay, 21, I was going to say eat, but I can eat at the computer, do normal bodily functions is a more accurate thought. Since we're in a open workshop mode with thirty workshops running side-by-side, the template works as a focal tool.

By the second visit, and I had to hold the criteria in mind--be constructive, focus on "me" and apply "my" criteria (does it work?) in addition to seeing if it lines up with what I know about my learning style, I'd discovered I still have hot buttons.

 Thought I'd gotten rid of those things.

And I have personal bias against things that either visually bug me, like I can't stand Gary Cooper. Or when the presenter holds a 180 opinion--I'm organic, for God's sake--I did a post on chaos theory! Okay...I see I still can't deal. I had to back out of that one quickly, although I like to think I covered all the bases on why it would work for a strongly left-brained person as a intro to character-building.

Enough brain stuck around for me to think about why I didn't like it. But I fell back into attack mode and there's no way I'm going to mess with someone's baby. Workshops are hard. It's not cool to go in and argue for the sake of arguing. I guess what I discovered is my writing issues are still there, and my hot buttons. I created my own system and processes to work-around my issues, and maybe that should be the last post.

You don't have to fix yourself. You can create a bridge.

2 comments:

Hailey Edwards said...

Can you separate the need for acceptance from accepting the wrong opinions?

Sometimes. It depends on how confident I am in what I've written and who is giving me the feedback.

Is there a yardstick for opinions that work for you and don't?

I hear the "trust yourself" mantra a lot. I'm trying to do that, but it's hard. If I'm given a suggestion that drops my gut into my toes, then I pass. I do, however, question myself every step of the way afterwards. :/

The novel I'm editing now, A Hint of Frost, is a prime example of that.

Why doesn't someone tell people that there are many paths to writing and each is equally valid?

If I had to guess, I'd say it's like anything else. People want to write their way and want other people to write their way too. Validation that their way is The Way maybe? Dunno.

jodi said...

lol, Hailey. It took me years to accept me writing. Honest God's own truth? I started working on craft in...2005? and I just accepted my writing two weeks ago. It's been a faith journey.

hm...you know, I need to do a blog post on yardsticks--and trust. :)

later. After these consulting gigs and the workshop I still need to write. :)

Validation is a strong motive. :( I think it drove a lot of historical "bad" times.

whew. Only another two days and then I can sleep. :)