I came to Writers At Work a bit nervous; I was new to the area (I had just moved to Atwater Village) and I had never participated in a writing workshop. As a participant in Writers At Work, I realized that the commitment involved in the project of writing is similar to the commitment of a lasting friendship. For the writing to take shape, one must first show up and be open to the possibilities of critical feedback. I learned at Writers At Work that crafting the story involves serious focus and a healthy, loving approach. Not only did I progress in my craft but I also began to build lasting friendships with socially conscious and loving people committed to the act of writing. More than 10 years from my first writing workshop, I remain friends with some of the participants of Writers At Work. I have built solid friendships through my participation. I continue to meet with three of the participants that I shared space with at my first workshop. We continue to meet often for “writing dates,” dinner, walks, and community events. We keep each other on a path of writing while sustaining a lasting friendship.
Each day for the 15 days leading up to the WAW Open House (October 7, 2012, 2-5 p.m.), we’re going to feature a current or former participant who’s completed a major project (book, film, album, academic credential). We’ll find out what they learned that helped them with their work.
Pablo Alvarez, Working From Life, The Art of Prose
Project: Gil Cuadros’ AZT-Land: A Queer Chicano Literary Heritage
My struggle to complete my master’s thesis was the simple act of sitting down to write it! I learned that sitting down for 30 minutes at a time helped build my capacity to focus and write. Each week I added an additional 30 minutes of writing so that by the end of the first month I was able to sit with my thesis for up to 3 hours at a time with breaks in between to stretch. I emailed a participant after every writing session for accountability.