I was completely blown away last Saturday. I was running Part 2 of my Writing for Profit workshop, and it happened to be my birthday. I’d mentioned to one of my students in a previous course that I’d be working on my birthday. A very lovely woman (and a talented emerging writer) attended both courses. She overheard … remembered … and brought along a fantastic birthday cake!


Plus candles and matches. The whole class sang Happy Birthday. I was utterly gobsmacked. How incredibly thoughtful! Thank you Bec 🙂

BiscuitsAnother woman also knew, and brought along some biscuits for afternoon tea. Greek biscuits (I’m Greek-Australian), made by a company called Stella Cakes. Also amazingly thoughtful. Thank you Janette 🙂

As a writer, we don’t normally get this sort of thing. Office workers are accustomed to having cakes and afternoon teas on their birthdays. Writers work alone most of the time, and we often miss that contact with colleagues. That’s why I love running workshops. It puts me in the company of people who love writing as much as I do, and helps overcome the isolation that goes with the territory.

I know I’m good at motivating people and helping them see opportunities they’d never considered before. My reward (apart from getting paid, of course) is to see my students happy and glowing with motivation. But this gesture was so totally unexpected, it moved me on a whole new level. If only I’d had the presence of mind to take a photo of the moment …

Never mind. I’ll remember it!

10 thoughts on “Why I love running writing workshops

  1. annamayfair says:

    Happy belated Birthday to you. Although we are miles and years apart we share the same sign and love of writing. I venture to say your workshops are inspiring and chock full of good advise. Love when your blog pops up in my email.

    1. Stella says:

      Thank you for the birthday wishes, and for enjoying my blog! Happy birthday to you too. It seems lots of writers are Pisceans 🙂

  2. Bon anniversaire! Happy birthday! How kind some people can be. It must have been very special for you to share an activity you love and your birthday on the same day. And to find a Stella Cakes was lovely. Many memories to treasure.

    1. Stella says:

      It was amazing, and makes me appreciate how lucky I am to be able to do the work that I love!

  3. Vasudha says:

    What a great surprise! Happy belated birthday 🙂

    1. Stella says:

      Thanks, Vasudha!

  4. You are very motivational. An inspiration. Happy Belated birthday wishes xx

    1. Stella says:

      That’s very nice of you, thanks 🙂

  5. I totally get the buzz you would get from mentoring fellow creatives and/or sparking the light of beginners. I get the same buzz, if at a smaller scale. But don’t be so quick to pine for an office job experience … I have one as a temporary gig and – apart from having material to fill two seasons of a sitcom – I can assure you you “ain’t missing anythin'”.
    Steven Fernandez

    1. Stella says:

      Steven, you’re right! Thanks for the reminder. Freelance forever!!

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