Writers and Writing Workshops

Over on the Orbit website, Celine Kiernan has been doing some musing on Writers Workshops:
I come away from every one of these workshops refreshed, with a renewed sense of purpose about my own work and a clearer idea of where I’m going. Even with (almost) nine novels under my belt I need to be reminded how to step back. I need to be reminded that writing is always going to be hard work, but that I can do it if I just keep a clear vision of what I’m trying to say. I need to be reminded to practice what I preach in other words.
I think any kind of workshopping is healthy.  Even if all that consists of is handing your manuscript out to friends and family.  You get so close to a piece of work that you need someone who doesn't see all the connective tissue you're trying to build in to hold it up; someone who will be frank and say, "I don't get it".  The hard part is taking their thoughts on board and trying to look at your work objectively.