Workshops – love them or hate them?
My most recent workshop was a day-long sensory workshop I ran from my house. I obtained permissions to visit two places usually closed to the public and organised on site exercises at Clonabreany/Bobsville graveyard, St Kevin’s Well, Clonabreaney House, Ardglassan, Jim McDonnell monument in Crossakiel and St Shiria (Chiara), a deconsecrated church ruin and graveyard. It rained the entire day so we ended up driving to rather than walking to a couple of places.
One of the writers posted photographs of the day on her blog. You can see them from this link: https://www.facebook.com/search/posts/?q=vera%20brady%20&epa=SEARCH_BOX
I love workshops. I attend several creative writing workshops each year to expand my knowledge of editing, structure, writing a synopsis or query letter. I also facilitate several each year – memoir and creative writing.
Why I Love Them
I am a loner and enjoy my own company. I write in isolation too and often joining a group of other like-minded people, comparing ideas, working exercises, offering and receiving feedback can be a joy.
Most of the writers I know are women with the responsibilities of job, children, housekeeping, or elderly relatives. They struggle to find time to write and squeeze in the acitivity when they can. Five minutes in the car while waiting for school to finish for the day; another five minutes sitting in a hospital waiting room; five minutes before the household wakes demanging breakfast.
Giving themselves permission to attend a two-hour, or a day long workshop, is a luxury and often calls for manoeuvres to compete with an army exercise. But once they manage the time, the workshop is dedicated to them and their creativity. It also puts them in touch with writers who share similar difficulties and with whom they can interact about the writing process.
Despite the buckets of rain, the workshop was a success. Each writer participated fully in the exercises and produced pieces of writing. They created ‘new’ colours e.g. tractor red, cobweb white. They wandered about taking notes and photographs as back up.
I expect to read the many pieces they write and remember that this workshop worked.
Well done to the ladies who participated and I’m looking forward to the next one.