I recently participated in my first fiction writing workshop. It was exactly what I needed. The Novella and Novelette Writing Workshop led by K. Tempest Bradford and Nisi Shawl focused on the shorter novel form.
The exercise of writing a novella for this workshop was strong motivation for me. It provided a deadline. I had six months from registration to the first session in which to plot, write, edit, and proofread what turned out to be a 39,000 word story.
To meet that deadline I stepped up my productivity and met the deadline easily. That was a confidence builder for my writing work in general.
The workshop itself also provided reassurance once we were underway. I was not sure what the other writers would bring or where I would fall in terms of skill level. Did I belong? It turns out every story showed promise as a publishable work. We all have things to do to improve our stories, but we each have something we could publish. Another confidence booster.
I have heard workshops can be a positive or negative experience. This one was all positive. The environment was productive and encouraging while the critiques were direct and constructive. I recommend anyone who wants to write novellas or novelettes to sign up for it the next time it is offered.