I went yesterday to Channel 8 once again, and got to talk about writing workshops with Desiree Fontaine, who is the most fun person to be interviewed by. She gets excited about everything. I think you could talk to her about the alphabet and she would make you feel as though you were piles of fun.

But I wasn’t there to talk about the alphabet—except as it helps a person in writing. I’ve become a real believer lately in writing workshops, perhaps because the ones I’ve been giving have shown me how people who consider themselves non-writers can come together and reach deep inside themselves and write amazing stories! I also love the way they support each other, the encouraging things they say, and all the ways in which they enhance each other’s work.

One woman was telling me the other day how the workshops feel like therapy to her. They’re not, of course—but they might give people something that’s just as valuable as therapy: the chance to take the past and make sense of it, wrestle it onto the page and create some understanding of it. And then you get to get up and read it aloud to an audience of people who laugh and cry with you, who notice your superb use of adjectives at the same time they’re noticing how hard you worked and how much you gave of yourself in writing.

And then we eat fruit and scones and drink tea and lemonade, and feel a little bit more at peace.