This week, editor and writer, Cathy Kodra, reflects on what her editing workshop means to her and her participants:
DND: As a writer why do you attend workshops led by other writers?
C. KODRA: Attending workshops is a fabulous way to network with other writers and learn from the presenters and other participants. No matter what workshops I’ve attended, each time I come away with some new knowledge and skill as well as with several new friendships and collaborations. And maybe the most important thing I always leave with is an even greater inspiration to write.
DND: What are two or more key skills or concepts you hope your participants gain from your workshop?
C. KODRA: I want participants to understand that they can go a long way in revising their own writing. With an understanding of the tools for both macro- and micro-editing, writers can greatly improve their work so that it’s ready for professional eyes (an editor or publisher). The other thing I hope is that participants will become risk takers. We all make mistakes, we all can improve our writing, and everyone should feel safe, supported, and inspired in the workshop environment.
DND: In a sentence, what is the contrast, slight or significant, between the writer’s mindset and the editors?
C. KODRA: The writer’s mindset is creation and completion; the editor’s mindset is bringing that creation and completion as near to perfection as possible.
DND: Why are these distinctions important for writers?
C. KODRA: It’s important for a writer to understand that even though a main draft is finished, the work is not. Many writers lose motivation and even interest when they realize much more work is to be done after the initial creation. Often that feeling of discouragement is based on not knowing what to do next. It is my belief that with the proper knowledge and revision tools, the writer can come to welcome and even love (honest!) the stages of revision.
DND: What do you get out of conducting a workshop?
C. KODRA: So much—it’s always a valued experience. A writing workshop is a wonderful collaboration, and the leader provides appropriate subject matter, materials, and guidance. But everyone learns from everyone else in that situation, and I find that we all leave with much more than we arrived with.
Thank you, Cathy! Have a great workshop!
David Neil Drews, KWG Publicist