The writing workshop I've been taking is good. It's purpose is not so much to hone your writing skills as it is to "get in the chair" (as our instructor puts it) and write. Find your voice. Figure out what your story is (or stories are). Think about your audience. Silence your inner critic that is always reminding you that you suck and write, write, write.
Our instructor gives us writing prompts that we can pursue with as much--or as little--energy as we wish. It's been a great approach for me because, in addition to being flat out lazy sometimes, I very often just lack a jumping off point.
Last week our "homework" was to think about our Big Story, and write that first page. I did. And I read it in class, and it felt good and right. This week our homework is to continue writing the first chapter of our Big Story, finishing it if we can. And y'all? I'm fucking excited!! I think I actually have a book in me--not a novel, but a memoir. I'm feeling more motivated and inspired to write than I have in ages, and it is a wonderful feeling. I really, really want to carve out the time in my life to do this.
I'll keep you posted on the progress, but I don't feel like revealing much more about it. I want to keep it close to my chest and protect it. Not because it's so precious that no one can know, but because my relationship to this idea of wanting to be a writer is fragile at best. I worry about it perishing and being left with nothing but frustration and my inner critic mocking me with a cruel, "I told you so."
Please wish me luck.