I’ve never been to a Clarion. Or any six-week workshop. Never worked in the kind of career field that would permit it, and never had a fortuitous conjunction of money and unemployment in between careers. Still, I like the idea of the whole thing — creativity boot camp, total immersion in ideas and discipline with the isolation necessary to foster the imagination to its fullest. It’s something I get in smaller increments with my writing group, particularly when we go off on our annual retreat — but how cool is it to go on a massive, six-week-long retreat with guest instructors? ::wistful sigh::
Alas. At this point in my career I could probably still get something out of a Clarion, but it wouldn’t be fair for me to go. The whole point is to help aspiring writers improve themselves enough and make the professional connections that will help them break in — and while I’ve got a long way to go before I achieve my personal goals, the one I can safely say I’ve met is yep, done the breaking-in thing. So I couldn’t in good conscience take a seat from someone else who might use a Clarion workshop to springboard into a published career. (Not to mention, got no time anymore.)
But I can still support a venture I think so highly of — which is why, even though I am not a Clarionite, I’ll be participating in this year’s Clarion West Write-a-Thon.
Gods know I’ve got enough to do: the final pass edit of The Broken Kingdoms, the second-pass revisions of the two Dreamblood books, and I’m working on an outline and test chapters for The New Book. So, you wanna encourage me? Maybe add a little positive pressure to produce more — and do a good thing for other people in the process? Sponsor me. My page is here, and I’ll let you know when the Write-a-Thon begins. Donations pay for things like keeping the workshop affordable for those who can pay, and providing scholarships for those who can’t. And Clarion West is particularly and explicitly committed to diversifying the SFF field — something that’s obviously near and dear to my heart.
So help me out, and help them out. I think it’s gonna be fun.