The Writing Workshop That Wasn't

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Photo by Johan Rydberg via Unsplash

One Saturday a month, my friend Lauren and I meet for a writing workshop at a café in Loveland. This precious time gives us both the opportunity to practice a craft that is often overlooked in the course of our everyday to-do lists and activities (the rule being that we can’t work on anything we’re required to do). We get to engage in meaningful conversation and reconnect in exactly the way I feel friends always should – with hot drinks and warm hearts. Not to mention, the coffee shop we’ve selected is just about as cozy as can be – one of those independently owned places boasting a roster of original drinks for every flavor and mood, with cushy couches and armchairs on one side of the room, and baristas who like to chat with you about your favorite Hogwarts house.

We planned to write yesterday afternoon after hitting a few thrift stores where I hoped to find some cheap furniture to fill my new apartment. We made it as far as Goodwill (and an end table I snagged for $2!) before hitting a minor roadblock. And I mean that in an almost literal sense because… Lauren’s car wouldn’t start.

I’d turned on the ignition and was plotting how best to maneuver the Toyota RAV4 my sister had let me borrow for the day (which dwarfs my Mini Cooper and has a considerably greater amount of trunk space for thrifting, but also has this way of making me feel like I’m driving a tank) out of its parking space when she met me at my window with the bad news.

I invited her in and we sat with the windows rolled down while she called her mom (who lives in town), AAA, and her guy friend who’s gifted with cars and could advise her on what to do next. And then we waited forty-five minutes for the AAA technician to come and jump the car.

“I’m sorry I ruined our writing day,” she said.

In truth, she hadn’t ruined anything. I didn’t have a piece ready for her to critique, so while I would have used our two to three hours working on something new, I could do that just as easily on my own. What I value even more than the writing we accomplish during our workshops is the time we spend together as friends.

And we were still doing that, in the Goodwill parking lot, as we waited for the AAA technician to rescue her ’98 Toyota Camry.

“Hey, the way I see it,” I said, “I’m still getting to spend time with my friend!” It didn’t hurt that she’d also placed a bag of chocolate chip cookies in the cup holder.

And so we put it to good use, discussing work and my anxieties about moving, among other things. And while a writing workshop gives us the opportunity to be heard in the words we put on paper, the best kind of friendships give us the space to be heard in person… wherever that space might be.

No comments :

Post a Comment