I've been busy facilitating some fun and exciting workshops and events this summer:
- Philosophy for Creatives writing workshop - an online workshop that got people thinking and talking and writing together. It was great people bringing people together from all over the UK and they were even kind enough to share some of their thoughts on the process afterwards.
- Create Sheffield's Let's Get Arty With a Bear Trail Party This was most definitely an in-person event! I was working with the Create Sheffield summer interns and thoroughly enjoyed getting children thinking about what it would be like to view the world from an animal's eye view.
- Writers Workshop summer programme: Write / Edit / Critique was planned as a hybrid event with retreats and workshops available in person and online. With one participant in the USA, even when we met up in the workshop we were in the zoom room too.
I've offered training in both formats too, and been glad to have work meetings outdoors, indoors and via the internet too. During the pandemic we had to learn how to make the most of remote and online options but now the world is opening up again we've got be even more flexible about how to meet and engage.
It's striking to discover how used I've become to the online life. After the close of my first in-person training event, I switched my phone back on to discover several texts and missed calls - I'd arranged my next meeting 15 minutes after the training session finished, forgetting that it takes a lot longer to leave a real room than a zoom room. Oops.
But practical glitches aside, as a facilitator, I'm itching to get back in the room. For me this means being able to re-engage with people in the fully creative way that emobdied thinking and learning provides. Reading body language as well as facial expressions, easier and more natural turn-taking, handwriting on flipcharts, enjoying jokes and being able to acknowledge emotions directly.
These are important strands of how we meet together in temporary community to enquire and explore together, and enjoy one another's company. That's as well as the side conversations where the creative life of a group happens - ideas tentatively expressed, connections made, new friendships forged.
That said, it's great working with people from different places and offering workshops that are taking place in different time zones at once. The costs in time and money of travelling to join an event will doubtless seem the more prohibitive after this gap in service. And there are still risks and those loom larger for some people more than others.
So what's to do?
Where are you at? Back in person or still remote?
How will you know when you're ready?
Would you prefer to zoom on into the future?
I'm working out my plans for the autumn and beyond - have you got any thoughts on how you'd like to join in with workshops and events?
I'd be glad to hear them...
Thanks to participants at the
Create Sheffield Let's Get Arty with a Bear Trail Party! for the illustrations.