Writing was my go-to method for addressing my grief and loss when my son died in 2010. I couldn’t NOT write. I found it cathartic and healing. I wrote alone, but I also wrote with others and shared my writing with them. Having my experience of loss and grief witnessed by others as I read what I’d written out loud was some of the best medicine.
I now offer this opportunity for healing writing to you.
WHAT: Come sit at my table and write with me. You and I and others will become the Writing Circle. I will provide the writing prompts that launch us into timed writing sessions. All you need is pen and paper (or laptop) and a willingness to write, share with others, and respond to what you hear. Your writing does not have to be related to loss or grief, but we do not shy away from these topics. Mostly, it’s about vulnerable and honest writing.
WHO: Me and you and other willing-to-do-it writers.
WHEN: Contact me for my next start date.
WHY: The cheerleader in me wants to encourage and support other writers. Everyone has a voice that deserves to be heard! The solitary writer in me wants to create a community of writers because writing can be lonely work. I believe in breaking that isolation.
WHERE: My home in Martinez, CA. I will provide my home address to registered participants. Online sessions are also offered via Zoom.
HOW: Using the Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) Method. I am an AWA affiliate and certified workshop facilitator.
HOW MUCH: A session lasts 2.5 hours. The fee is $50 each time.
HERE’S WHAT HAPPENS AT THE “WRITE” WAY TABLE:
- We sit together and we write! The overarching theme is grief and loss, but you may find that you want to write about something else entirely, and that’s OK.
- I will provide beverages and snacks.
- Participants arrive 5 to 15 minutes before our start time. This allows time to settle in, choose a spot at the table, take off your coat, pull out your paper and pen, serve yourself some tea, say “hi” to the others…you get the picture. I don’t want this part to feel rushed. The idea is to arrive. Fully.
- We begin promptly at the start time, with a few minutes of guided meditation to get grounded and present. (Don’t let that word “meditation” scare you. We’re just going to get quiet, together and consciously.)
- I will provide 2-3 prompts each time we gather. The prompts will vary: poems, prose, single-sentence quotes, a word or two, images, aromas, objects, music and even flavors.
- I will read the written prompts out loud; other prompts will be passed around or displayed. We will write for timed sessions lasting 10-20 minutes. Your writing may launch from the prompt provided, but if something else is begging to be written, by all means, go for it.
- After writing, we will each read what we’ve written out loud to the group. This is optional, but you will get much more from the experience if you participate fully. However, no pressure.
- We will then offer positive feedback to the writer following the AWA guidelines (which will be explained). Providing feedback is optional, but again, there is much to be gained from both receiving and giving feedback. The feedback offered to the writers in our Circle is always positive. You will get a sense of what your strengths are and what others appreciate about your writing. This is about encouraging your writer’s soul to come out and play. This is not about conforming to someone else’s idea about what “good writing” is.
- Rinse & repeat once or twice (with short breaks), depending on our pace and time remaining.
- The AWA Method is surprisingly effective for calling forth The Muse and silencing that pesky Inner Critic. This is a place where your unique voice is welcome. The environment will be supportive, encouraging and safe. That is my promise to you.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
- Whether you are dealing with a loss or not, you are welcome. Participants often write about other topics too.
- Do you already write? Do you have a project underway? Have you been toying with the idea of writing something new or different? Are you dipping your toe into the writing pond for the first time? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, The “Write” Way is for you.
- Fiction? Non-Fiction? Prose? Poetry? Script dialogue? Sure! Whatever wants to be written. And no experience necessary. Honest.
- Published writer
- Certified facilitator of Writing Circles using the AWA method
- Grief recovery specialist
My mission? I am devoted to bringing people’s unique and distinct voices forth through their writing. In particular, I encourage participants to delve into the areas of loss and grief, but this is not a requirement, and it is not always the focus of our Writing Circles. Listen to the voice inside of you that wants to come forth onto the page.
My credentials? I am a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, with an M.A. in Counseling Psychology, and a Certified AWA writing facilitator. I also have a lot of life experience with big loss and big grief, that has been helped immeasurably through writing.
PLEASE NOTE: I share my home with Lulu, my small-ish (16 lbs.) dog. She is a 12-year old Bichon/Shih-tzu mix. When you first arrive, she will be very excited and will want to smell you and say “hello”. Once we settle, she does too. As much as I would love for you to join us, if you are nervous around dogs, please take this into consideration.
Because she is half Bichon, people who are normally allergic to dogs (like me!) do not seem to have as much of an allergic reaction to her, but you be the judge. If you want to stop by and meet her before committing to joining us, please contact me. I want you to be comfortable.