Re-booting my creativity #writingworkshop, #Dahliabooks, #Homeby10.

The temperature here dropped a few degrees in the last week of August, a reminder (or warning) that autumn is just around the corner. This time of year Ray, Rusty and I would normally be taking a week away somewhere. Since that’s out of the question, my thoughts have turned to classes (not my own, those plans are already shaping up nicely). I’ve been looking at what else is available.

Most years I spend a lot of time browsing lit-fest brochures, highlighting things that I know I won’t get to. Travel, time and accommodation always defeat me equally.

Not any more. The upside of the continuing restrictions on public meetings is that many events have moved on-line. It has finally dawned on me that I can go anywhere in this virtual country.

Saturday morning I found Short Story September organised by Farhana Shaikh of Dahlia Books, in Leicester. I’d missed the first session, but there was a masterclass onย Imagery and Structure in Short Fiction with Farhana Khalique & Anita Goveas that afternoon. A few clicks later and I was booked on it.

From ten-to-three we began to gather in our virtual classroom. Introductions were made, a few ground-rules laid, and then we were off, reading samples of stories, thinking about them, and trying out ideas of our own. Ink flowed. We broke away into small groups and compared notes, then got back together and wrote more.

Both tutors bubbled with infectious enthusiasm. That’s energizing. They delivered an hour-long session each, which provided contrasting and complementary approaches to the subject.

At the finish, I had rough drafts for several stories. This is the physical evidence of a good writing session.

As after any well-designed workout, I realised I was tired, but not drained. I’d been encouraged to stretch, but not strain, my creativity.

Later, having drawn breath and reflected, I felt freshened. I love seeing the literary world through the prism of another writer’s viewpoint. In addition to that, I’d been introduced to some stories I might not have discovered on my own, and I had five pages of new story ideas. That’s what I call a useful session.

37 thoughts on “Re-booting my creativity #writingworkshop, #Dahliabooks, #Homeby10.

  1. I also am finding these virtual workshops invigorating. I am booked into a couple as well. Now we can attend without the hassle and cost of travelling to the location. Iยดm liking this! (Although meeting people in person is still a good thing to do when possible.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That sounds terrific. I was part of a writing studio and when it closed, I had a hard time recreating the experience with a writing group. I love the camaraderie and support that a group provides. I may need to look into finding a group like that again. Thanks for the inspiration, Cath.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A blog-post full of positive, encouraging vibes!
    Attending such workshops is indeed a great idea to churn our creativity.
    Thank you for sharing it with us Cath.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t think I have the stamina for a workshop at the moment, Cath, but I have enjoyed the online literary festivals and I agree – this has been one of the benefits of lockdown. It sounds like this particular workshop was perfect for you and has been productive and positive in many ways. Good luck with your own lesson planning!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a lovely experience, Sandra. I know what you mean about stamina, I’ve been recuperating after an unexpected health blip this summer, and missed several festivals I might otherwise have been tempted by. This one was a corner-turning moment for me. The lesson plans are beginning to come together now, thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

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