New writing workshops dates will be announced shortly.
Testimonials from writing students:
‘It was emotional, opening up. The delivery was amazing – all the moments were perfect – these helped me to develop. it was excellently planned for it to flow’.
‘I didn’t feel afraid to make mistakes, no criticism. A great chjoice of setting. it was pertinent for me, but I can see how the principles can be applyed to the students’.
I’m still writing, still planning to carry on’.
I come from the writing tradition of Natalie Goldberg who taught me to ‘write down the bones’. I have taken that a stage further and created a writing process that is akin to an anthropological Dig!
Books and landscapes have always been my best teachers, and as a young English expat living in South Africa, I read Olive Schreiner’s classic, The Story of An African Farm.. It’s a coming of age story about a girl called Lyndall who sacrifices her own voice for the sake of social appearances. Like the landscape the story is set in, the lessons are harsh and relentless. Ultimately she does learn to resolve this apartheid within her soul, and find peace. As have I.
This resolution is a journey into our heart of darkness, and it’s here that we find what I call our ‘broken colours’. These colours are our most vivid reflections of inner conflict, and it’s these that we work on expressing through words and paint, shining light on these corners of our soul. When we bring these to light we are more engaged with our voice and can offer our whole self through our creative endeavours.
As a writing anthropologist I know how to dig for these broken colours, and I use this metaphor a lot with students who are searching for ways to shine a light on their voice that aches for expression. When we give in to these parts and give them a voice, they thanks us by no longer giving us painful bodily reminders (migraines, neck aches, stomach complaints, etc). This is real freedom of expression. And sometimes those pieces of writing can then be crafted into something that is published and shared with a public audience. Sometimes they are just part of your private exploration so that you can be more relaxed and comfortable in your own skin.
My own Dig was like a shamanic quest. It took 30 days, and for each of those 30 days I wrote and reflected, wrote and reflected until I’d dug down to my deepest, darkest secrets.
My other writing tool is meditation. It was out of a deep meditation that I received my children’s story, Isaac and the Red Jumper which explores what happens when a child loses a loved one. It’s upbeat and not at all sad, and my intention in publishing this book is to teach us all that our hearts don’t have to freeze over with grief because our spirit lives on.
If you are interested in writing your own Dig, please join me on February 10th at The Stamford Arts Centre, Stamford, Lincs from 7-9pm. To book email email@example.com.
Meanwhile, why not browse my bookstore Amanda’s Books