If you’re considering booking yourself in for some much needed self-care time come the new year (who doesn’t need to pencil in the time to recover from all the festivities?) you might be wondering what a Journaling and Writing Workshop involves so I thought I’d give you an idea of the types of things we might cover. (And if you already know you want to attend then you can grab your tickets here).
In the land of Creative Writing, and now expanding into the world of mental health and various ‘arts’ based therapies, writing has been used to record and reflect our thoughts and feelings in order to make sense of them, to rid ourselves of them or just to have them be validated by putting them onto paper and this is the type of writing we will be doing in the workshops.
In journaling we can write about a day, a year, a specific event, a feeling, a moment in time, a person, a situation – anything really and it’s entirely your choice. The idea is to form a kind of writing habit that means you add something to it each day, or each week or actually whenever you feel like writing. You can write to yourself, to a stranger, to a loved one. It’s the freedom to write in this way that is so fulfilling in journaling. What is always interesting about journaling is that after a few sessions you can usually find what I call your ‘golden thread’ (more on that coming soon!)
We’ll also practice what writers and academics call ‘free writing’. These are timed parts of the session where for 10 minutes you write anything and everything that comes to mind. It doesn’t have to be coherent, it doesn’t have to make sense. You just write. You can use anything as inspiration. The thoughts in your head, the colour of someone’s shoes, what you ate for dinner, literally anything. The idea with these types of exercises is simply to get pen to paper and avoid the dreaded ‘writer’s block’. Free writing is a kind of warm-up for writers and can be super useful to get the creative juices flowing (it’s also a very nice pre-cursor to see if there is anything sitting right at the front of your subconscious mind that you ‘choose’ to get out by writing it down).
Finally, if anyone is feeling brave, we might share by reading aloud (remembering that this is a safe space to write and create). This is not a test, there’s no assessment, no right and wrong and nothing is compulsory. If you want to doodle for 2 hours you absolutely can (when you next come to write you might even write about why you doodled in your last workshop – were you avoiding something, preventing yourself from saying something? Sometimes these things are the things that bring the most clarity). If you are feeling confident about anything you wrote then you would be most welcome to share, even if what you’re sharing is that you don’t like the feeling of squashed tomatoes on your head! (This came up in a free writing exercise I did before and it will always stick with me).
All resources will be provided along with nibbles and light refreshments.
You will be given a journal, pen or pencil, and a lovely goodie bag filled with samples and discounts from locally based (Essex) female owned businesses. You will also receive a discount voucher to my next workshop (online or in-person).
So what are you waiting for? Grab your ticket and get yourself booked in for an interesting, friendly and fun afternoon to start 2024 in the best way! Tickets available here
*Important note about the intention of the workshop – I’ve been asked if these workshops are trauma informed and the answer is that although I have some training in counselling and mental health as part of my academic role, I don’t design these particular workshops as therapy groups or any type of replacement for professional medical/mental health treatment – it’s very much a space in which to focus on writing, whatever the topic you choose, with no pressure to share or to do anything else – they are designed to provide a positive space to use writing for reflection, relaxation or creativity (or all) – of course we know that healing and recovery can come from taking part in these things but the focus is very definitely on the writing aspect and each individual will achieve something different in undertaking these workshops or sessions. If you have recently experienced any trauma or feel that these workshops could be triggering in any way please do seek professional mental health support from a medically qualified individual prior to booking any of my workshops or sessions*
Workshops are facilitated by me, Fiona L Brown. I hold an MPhil in Arts & Creative Industries, Specialising in Creative Writing by Women and an MA in Creative Writing. I am a qualified lecturer, assessor, IQA, trainer and hold qualifications in Counselling Skills and Confidence Coaching. I am a published author having written Green Onions in 2022, have published academic work, presented at conferences across the UK and USA and I am currently writing my new fiction book ‘All Inclusive’ as well as a non-fiction book on my parenting journey as a mum to a child with additional and special needs.