Writer’s Workshops and The Trouble with Tribbles

Tribbles, as many people know, were – are? – an alien species humans found oddly compelling. They trilled or purred sweetly. They were soft and cuddly. They made humans feel happy. The trouble with Tribbles was how rapidly they reproduced. Suddenly these precious fluffy purring things were everywhere, including the engine of the Starship Enterprise!

Too many tribbles spoiled the inner workings, distracted people from their jobs and basically caused chaos in an otherwise well-run system. Of course, in the end, the Tribbles saved the day. Yes, many of them sacrificed their lives to do so, but without them, the poisoned grain would not have been discovered and people would have died.

What do tribbles have to do with writer’s workshops? Everything.

Workshops, to the writer, are as appealing and irresistible as Tribbles were to the crew of the Enterprise.Β  While Tribbles gave physical comfort with their soft fuzzy bodies and sweet cooing, workshops give emotional comfort with their promise of clarity and focus. Writers flock to them – especially THIS writer. Paying with cash and time. Investing creative energy into new methods to develop characters, plot and theme, as well as new ways to see each.

The trouble with workshops, like Tribbles, is they way they multiply. The way the lectures pile up until there are mounds of them – mostly filled with phenomenal advice about the writing craft. The trouble with workshops, like Tribbles, is their allure.

And so, despite the distraction of Tribbles and workshops, I simply cannot resist their pull. And I, clearly, will not even try.

Resistance is futile.


8 Responses to Writer’s Workshops and The Trouble with Tribbles

  • Love your tribbles comparison. I remember how cute they were and I, too, have succumbed to the lure of writers conferences. I hope you found some useful tribbles among the crowd.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog.


  • I loved the Tribbles episode!!! I hear ya about writing workshops. Sometimes I bite off more than I can chew. So far though, I’ve always come away with something valuable. Especially this last class with Kristen Lamb. Awesome! πŸ˜€

  • Sonia, I tend to bite off too much but it’s almost always worth it. This month was one of the best with three workshops, including one by the ever-wise and wonderful Mary Buckham, another by master teacher and expert in motivation Laurie Schnebly and the one you mentioned by the very busy and creative Kristen Lamb. What. A. Month!

  • Linda, I have to say, I have been extremely fortunate to find a wealth of useful tribbles in my travels. Just this month, I found three – THREE – and could not be happier. It’s just going through them all at the same time that leans toward head-banging, ya know? πŸ˜‰

  • Debora, I have something for you at my blog. Stop by when you have the chance. πŸ˜€

  • Lol! Way to REALLY embrace your destiny! I try to set boundaries because they are great and ‘essential’ but you know the saying…so many things to do and so little time πŸ˜‰

  • Sonia! How cool! Thank you. I will have to follow through. πŸ™‚

  • Tuere, exactly. So many things. And when I see the list of possible workshops, I get red-pen happy and circle them all. lol. You should see my workshop printout for Nationals! I think I circled 40!

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