Sometimes a writer skims on top of a subject. Or dog-paddles around the edges. Or is too nice. The writing is glib and clever and maybe even funny, or the story moves along from plot point to plot point, but the piece is as shallow a wading pool.
This is not to say that writing can’t entertain; it can and often does. Or that it can’t be “just a diversion.” Some of the best-selling books are “just a diversion.” But even in that diversion there is a depth, of character or relationship. A depth of emotion. So when we talk about going deeper, we’re not talking “heavy.” We’re talking texture and layering, getting beneath the skin. As writers, when we throw our stone into the pond, we want to make ripples, circles that enlarge from the base and encompass a larger area than simply a hole in the water where our stone sank. Kafka said “A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.”
This workshop examines what can cause a writer to keep her head above water — from being in a hurry to finish, to not trusting her own voice or intuition or fear of what might be discovered or revealed, then suggests ten ways to take a deep breath and dive in. Life jackets optional.
Judy Reeves is a writer, teacher and writing practice provocateur whose books include A Writer’s Book of Days; Writing Alone, Writing Together; A Creative Writer’s Kit and The Writer’s Retreat Kit. In addition to leading private writing and creativity workshops, Judy teaches writing at UCSD Extension and in private workshops, and speaks at writing conferences internationally. She is a co-founder of San Diego Writers, Ink where she served as Executive Director. A revised edition of A Writer’s Book of Days was recently released.