When I was a kid, I didn’t go to a normal summer camp. Instead of running around outdoors and taking swimming lessons like all of the other children, I would sit inside with a pen and notebook all day. Every single year from the age of 13 on, I attended summer writing workshops. It started out when I showed my mom a story I had been writing. She was beyond impressed with it, and my mother was a hard woman to impress. She showed to one of her friends who ran a summer writing workshop, and I was enrolled within the day.
At first, I was a little bit irritated. Well, more than a little, I guess. I loved writing, but I wanted to spend my summer outside playing. Going to summer writing workshops sounded a little bit too much like staying in school all summer. I couldn’t stand the idea of having homework every day and not being able to go off to sleep away camp with my friends. I had a long talk with my mom who promised me that I would not have to go to any other summer writing workshops if I did not like this one. It was only a week long and she promised me that, if I didn’t enjoy it, I would never have to go again.
Well, my experience of the summer writing workshop was beyond positive. It would be no exaggeration to say that I loved it. It was the biggest thrill to have good teachers to help me improve my writing. The people at that creative writing workshop were so passionate about the writers craft that they inspired me to become a better writer. I even made some good friends there – friends I ended up keeping for years after.
Needless to say, after that week I was hooked. I went to summer writing workshops the next year and the year after that. Instead of just going for a week, however, I went for a month at a time. That let me really immerse myself in the writing process, which was such a blessing for a young aspiring writer. Every year I could feel my voice developing a maturing further than the year before. I knew that I was making progress, and that the summer writing workshops were a big part of the reason.
I ended up going off to college and getting a bachelors of arts in creative writing. Nowadays, I teach my own creative writing workshop classes. I do summer writing retreats, workshops at kids summer camp, and many other interesting programs. It really has given me a direction in life, and I owe my mom for that.