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New adventures in Creative Facilitation

Doing something new is a great joy for me, even though - or perhaps because - it means feeling nervous, doing extra work and getting less sleep! I noticed this a lot during the first lockdown last year: my cravings for novelty, a new experience or a fresh view.

Working on my new Creative Critique workshop involved the usual mix of anxiety and excitement. I'm really glad to be working on a process that can help writers develop their work. And thankfully, on the day, the preparation paid off. People came! They joined in. They listened and laughed and made notes and said that it had been worthwhile.

Feedback comments included:

  • I enjoyed thinking differently about my piece; also appreciated having feedback in the breakout room about its 'themes' and knowing that I was achieving what I was aiming for.

  • Looking at writing from a different viewing point was very useful.

  • It's a useful way to consider what depths my writing might have.

  • Very thought provoking.

Of course, as you can expect for a first attempt, it wasn't perfect. [To frame that philosophically: Can a real experience ever be perfect? Or indeed, can a real experience ever not be perfect?] So now I'm excited that I've got ideas for how the next Creative Critique workshop will be even better. One thing that came through strongly, was how useful it is for writers to share their work in a process that's about delving in to meaning and generating new insights. So I'll be building on the core of the process to do even more of that.

This process of finding ways to use the Philosophy for Communities (P4C) method as way into developing creative practice is deeply satisfying for me. It's like cooking from scratch and drawing on my previous knowledge of two different well-loved recipes to create a new unique dish. A creative process for developing creative writing practice.

It's definitely the case that sharing your work is an important part of developing as a writer. But how do you get the feedback you need? Ideally you want more than general positive (or negative) comments but sometimes it feels the alternative is an over detailed commentary based on the personal preference of the reader. Only you can write your writing, so other people’s ideas for word choices won’t necessarily be a help to you!

So, if you're looking for ideas on how to develop your writing or want to get clearer on the central themes in a finished piece, think about joining us. Or if you're interested in finding out more about other opportunities to experience P4C for creative practice, get in touch.

The next Creative Critique workshop, as part of the online programme at Beverley Ward Writers Workshop is on Thursday 10th June 7pm-9pm. You can book here. I hope to see you there!

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