April 08, 2018

Creative Writing Workshop 20.10.2017

Perhaps the weirdest thing about attending the Creative Writing Workshop is that it didn’t feel weird at all! There we were, a group of academic researchers and our young advisors, sharing emotional stories in order to jointly write a poem (yes…a poem!), as though it was the most normal thing in the world. Perhaps it should be? Perhaps, if we opened up and shared our innermost feelings more often, we’d see that the barriers we often perceive to be between us, aren’t actually there at all?


The workshop started with the facilitator instructing us to imagine a time when we felt very low and to write a few short sentences on how it felt. As prompts, we had to describe ourselves, in that moment, as an animal, a colour and so on. We were everything from roaring lions to wriggling worms, from middle aged academics to youth mental health service users, from grim grey to no colour at all, and yet our answers were remarkably consistent; it didn’t seem to matter what journey had led each of us to the place of despair that we described - the impact on “self“ was almost exactly the same.

I left the meeting totally in awe of Joelle Taylor (the incredibly talented author who facilitated this workshop) and of the young advisors who shared their personal stories during the day. I was also filled with hope, we CAN do this you know…this TED talk. We’re going to shock, challenge, guide… ruffle feathers, upset the status quo, speak truth to power…but maybe… just maybe…ultimately…we will actually change the world!

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