Today, frankly, I’m still on a bit of a high from yesterday, and co-hosting The Next Page’s first workshop – Finding The Words, in Whitley Bay Library. Two, three-hour workshops in one day was ambitious, but even as we moved into our final sharing session at 1620, peoples’ energy was still up, and the quality (and quantity) of writing produced was fantastic.
I was, as usual, fairly nervous before the event, but there’s such a rush to be had from positive responses to the exercises you’ve crafted, and Elaine and I had certainly put the effort into our plan (which, to be fair, I went and completely abandoned within half an hour of starting our second session!).
One thing I always enjoy at workshops is hearing how different people respond to different tasks, and picking up the many directions a single prompt or exercise can take people in. One thing which fascinated me from yesterday was the idea of what buildings can tell us, about their own history, the history of the town they occupy and the history of the people who have occupied them. This, from an exercise which at no point mentioned buildings! We also had lots of discussions about found poetry, and I was so impressed at the way people were able to make other peoples’ words sound so similar to their own styles. Despite being convinced it wouldn’t happen, I even managed to come up with some ideas and drafts of my own.
Elaine and I are already planning our next workshops, and of course, we have Pure Fiction, also at Whitley Bay Library, coming up on the 30th July. Lots to be keeping us out of trouble!