I think it's helpful from time to time to meet with other writers and get feedback. This weekend I met up with other writers and excellent instructors at the Orcas Island Writers Festival for some workshops.
First, Deb Lund covered picture book writing and provided perfect feedback for everyone who submitted work. I was surprised to find out my manuscript wasn't as horrible as I originally thought. I find picture book writing exceptionally challenging and am in awe of anyone who can write an compelling story in 32 pages. Deb certainly can! What was even more amazing is to see how well she could keep an audience of three to five-year-olds transfixed with her books. Great stuff!
For the rest of the weekend I joined Diane Lefer, a playwright, and other writers. We did improv and moving about on stage. We worked through ideas and concepts. We tried out new directions. It's an amazing process and very insightful. I think will and always have been in awe of the theater. It always finds a way back into my own work.