I joined this writing workshop recently and was like – okay, this hasn’t happened since 2011. Like a real writer’s workshop with a circle of people reading your stuff out loud and giving you feedback. It’s been interesting. So last Tuesday I shared a piece I had revamped but written before. I prefaced everyone with it’s a dialogue practice and what not because I was really nervous. So anyway, the whole thing went fine and people laughed at the parts they are supposed to laugh. And that was fun and all but then something really awesome happened.
Our facilitator decided it was REAL TALK time and gave us a group exercise that went something like this.
Answer the following questions:
1. Write about your best writing experiences
2. Write about a time when writing made you feel like an Insider? Outsider?
3. What advice practice would you share with someone else?
Then after we all wrote down our answers, he made us go into groups of two and share these truths about ourselves.
Blog Land, I kid you not – we all were laughing, and getting emotional over stories from high school, elementary school, childhood. Someone talked about how her single dad couldn’t handle talking to her about her school dramas, so he made her write down her feelings on paper and promised her he would read the paper in a time when he could. He would read it and then go to her room and talk to her about it. It was the most amazing thing! We all had really wonderful stories like that to share. The person I spoke to is a first time writer, but she’s incredible hilarious and only found out she loved writing through a theater group. So okay, I hope you get how great it was to share our honest true stories about why we do what we do – EXPRESS OURSELVES ON PAPER.
Then we talked about these thing with the larger group. Our facilitator informed us that this exercise was so that we could find out more about ourselves, share knowledge, and write down these stories that are incredibly valuable for anyone who writes.
He said that we as writers need to know what we love about writing, and what we fear about it. It’s invaluable.
I just wanted to share this exercise with you. Maybe you could do it with a group of your writing friends, or at a workshop. I learned so much about why I may lack focus or drag my feet at times. We have small little traumas attached to these stories. It’s good to dig a little deep to get some real results.
And with that, I say BUENAS NOCHES!