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Popular fiction and the imaginations of many portray writers tucked in a cozy office or nestled in the corner of a quaint coffee shop, hammering away with a thoughtful squint or crazed scowl on their faces. They toil alone and eventually hand their manuscript to their publisher after a montage of such scenes.

     My writing started in the wee hours behind a hotel reception desk. Tired of old movies and uncomfortably candid infomercials, I began wondering how better to pass the time and turn my fanciful daydreaming into something concrete, more meaningful. And although many of my writing hours have been spent hunched over my laptop alone or isolated by headphones in a crowded coffee shop, two thirds of those moments were precipitated by time spent with my writing peers as we critiqued each other’s latest works.

     The writer’s workshop I’ve attended these past five years turned many manuscripts into published works by illuminating my missteps, exposing tangled plots, and praising those rare moments when the notes of my message rang truest. We’ve worked together to improve and encourage each other, to enter those solitary moments armed with purpose and equipped to make our ideas outshine the original clumsy effort to share them. I love my writer’s workshop and hope all writers find a similar collection of eccentric friends in their craft.

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