JOIN A BLUE SKY WRITING WORKSHOP OR GROUP
In our work with individuals and groups, we’ve found that writing regularly in a loving space is a powerful practice. Somehow, the space itself transforms. We discover deeper truths and patterns emerging. We become more and more comfortable with the vulnerable feeling of not-knowing. We become more able to tolerate the discomfort of being out on the edge. The practice is not just for writers, although even experienced writers find that their voice becomes clearer, more honest. We suspect it has something to do with hearing yourself and others speak aloud in a new way. You discover what you didn’t know you knew until it shows up on the page. You begin to recognize your most authentic voice and that of others, and you begin to see how unique and valuable each voice is. When you hear yourself reading your own words out loud, something funny happens—they become real. Your words, your stories, your truths start to live outside you…
Groups meet weekly and are ongoing, month to month. One-time workshops are half day, either in person (Maine or California) or online. For more information or to sign up for next month’s group, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
THE FORMAT–WHAT TO EXPECT
Arrive online, settle in, and catch up (10 minutes)
We meet up on Zoom (video and audio on), say hi and get settled.
Meditation, poem, prompt (10 minutes)
We take a few minutes to get present and drop in, allowing internal space for whatever wants to arise. Then we listen to a poem or a passage of writing that contains our first writing prompt.
Writing (17 minutes)
We set the timer and write for 17 minutes, using the prompt as a jumping-off point (or not—you’re free to ignore the prompt and start anywhere you like). During the writes, we usually mute our microphones and turn off video to minimize distractions. We write whatever comes, period. No worries about the writing making sense, or being objectively “good” in any way. This process is about discovering what’s there, waiting to be written. It’s often a complete surprise of memories, characters, thoughts, words, images and feelings, that seem to spring up out of nowhere when you dare to put pen to paper or fingers on a keyboard.
Sharing, listening and responding (20 to 35 minutes)
We take turns reading aloud what we have just written, and listening closely to what gets read. As listeners, we listen with whole-bodied attention and then we respond ONLY with what we love, what resonates, what stays with us. As responders, we resist the temptation to assume anything at all about we hear in each other’s writing, holding everything as fictional until or unless the writer tells us otherwise. This way, we all are given the widest possible space in which to write without worry about being judged based on the content of what gets written. Why? Because if we are afraid others are going to make assumptions or draw conclusions about us as people based on the content of our writes, we won’t feel free to write whatever comes. And that’s the assignment: write whatever comes. No matter what it is. When receiving feedback, we listen and try to receive it without explaining or justifying anything, regardless of our own feelings or judgments about what we’ve just written. Please note: we are encouraged to share our writes with each other, but it is not required. You may pass if you like. Just know that there is great power in the act of reading your own words aloud.
Break (15 minutes)
Second Writing (17 or 34 minutes)
We come back together and do it all again. Sometimes our second write is 17 minutes, other times we allow for a longer time to write. Regardless, the assignment is the same: write whatever comes, no matter what it is.
Sharing, listening and responding (30 to 45 minutes)
Just like the first time, we are encouraged to share our writes. When we listen to others read, we listen with our whole selves and respond with resonates.
Group discussion and closing (15 to 20 minutes)
If there’s time, we can dive into meaning and look at what’s being revealed. Often there are similarities or themes that arise in what gets written. Often we find new prompts in our writes as take-aways to work on between meetings, sometimes we just bask in the joy of the process and the light that gets revealed in the act of doing something this radical: writing together with no preconceived notions about what is going to arise, and sharing it.