“Humans are hardwired for storytelling,” one of the workshop participants shared. “Stories have been a part of the human experience for thousands of years. They have never left us.”
We sat around two round tables of seven people each, ranging from lives lived for 30 – 76 years. We spent the morning with coffee or tea in one hand, pens in the other, feverishly getting words down on the page, ruminating on the thought that our personal stories are worthy of being told – that our lives are important.
We were a group made up of poets, journalers, fiction writers, email writers, article writers, and future zine creators, looking for new ways to write, for inspiration and ideas, for community, and for tips on building creative discipline. We were hoping to learn about others, to learn about ourselves, and to share about ourselves.
We wrote, and discussed, and (optionally) shared, and wrote some more. Two hours flew by, full of laughter and contemplation. We learned ways to get started with writing and to incorporate writing into our daily lives. We learned that whatever we choose to write about in our lives is important. We felt encouraged to just start writing and gave ourselves permission to write for the sake of it. “It felt like through this sharing, we entered as strangers and left as friends,” a participant said. “We came as a group of strangers and left as humans/friends sharing a collective experience.
Jedidiah Jenkins, an author and storyteller, says, “Write because the Universe has never had the chance to be seen by you. As only you see it. And it never will again. Existence, as it passes through you, comes out a new colour. Get that down. Grab it as best you can.” My hope with this workshop was to honour the fact that no one experiences this life the same way, but in our stories that are unlike any other, there is an opportunity for connection, for feeling seen, and for feeling heard.
I like to think this hope was brought to life with our curious and thoughtful group. As one participant shared, “Through writing prompts, round table discussions, and resources, this workshop leaves you feeling confident to head out into your everyday life and capture the magic within it through a journaling practice.”
View more workshop photos here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1MgdCyANlK9IEVbmHf9k4mZY2jV_fVkQw?usp=sharing.