My very first journaling workshop – a resounding hit!

by Juliet Platt on November 8, 2010

in Journaling,Workshops,Writing

Saturday was the first ever journaling workshop I’ve set up and run in Swindon – and it was awesome. After advertising in Swindon Link, in my newsletters, in promo emails to my contacts and even on the radio I was chuffed to bits to attract ten participants, all of whom threw themselves wholeheartedly into the day, and worked really really hard with all of the exercises I offered.

Because journaling has been something I’ve done all my life, and because through my personal development work I’ve explored all sorts of ways of using reflective writing, it’s seems strange initially to realise that what I have to say on the subject is so surprising and enlightening for others. But as soon as I get over that particular thought, and forget about hiding my light under any sort of bushel, it gives me  huge pleasure to share my knowledge and experience, and, more importantly, to see light bulbs go on for people around the room.

It’s important that the workshop environment feels as comfortable as possible for everyone, and that noone feels obliged to read out any of their writing. Journals are entirely personal and private documents. They are not necessarily meant for any kind of audience, so it’s vital that workshop conditions support this. Lower Shaw Farm is such a welcoming and comfortable venue that it felt easy to create a totally safe and respectful environment, where participants were at liberty to write, without censure or judgement.

So, I’m looking forwards to the next one, which is scheduled for 12 February 2011, also at Lower Shaw Farm in Swindon. And in the meantime I’ll be getting my head down on my journaling book. There’s nothing like running something live to make you realise which bits are the most important to convey, and which to chop. Every non-fiction writer could do worse than contrive a means to dry run some of their content for the benefit of an audience, to get a feel for how it will be received.

In my case I am deeply grateful to every one of my workshop participants – look forwards to seeing you on the follow up!

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