Why a workshop instead of studying on your own?

photo credit: Abbs Pepper
Where DO they get their ideas?

Worried you have no imagination…? Ever been told you aren’t creative? Believe you have no writing talent?

Have you planned a holiday, or fantasised about a dream house, or a dream lover? Do you ever daydream? Have you ever made a wish?  Then you have an imagination. You can conjure an image that doesn’t exist in reality. All you need to do is find the key to unlock your imagination – and know how to stop the self-sabotage.

It’s so much easier in a group, with help… Working alone from a book or online tutorials, you have to use your logical left-brain at the same time as your creative right brain, and this sabotages the process from the start if you don’t know the techniques you need. In the workshop setting you have me to be your logical brain, and you have the group to give you confidence and encouragement. Just being with other people gives you a massive injection of energy and enthusiasm to boost your efforts.

Frustrated by your Muse taking off on holiday?

Make your Muse redundant. Discover your infinite store of ideas, and your faithless Muse can emigrate if she likes.

So… how, then?

Don’t think about it. Bypass logic and reason, bypass the sensible brain, the brain which likes to keep things tidy. Give the left brain a well-earned rest, and let the right brain flourish uncensored.

When you don’t have time to think, your subconscious throws up things you might never think of. Shutting off the left brain means that odd combinations and unlikely associations leap, without censure, to your hands and on to the page.

It’s so hard to do alone – much easier together. That’s why the workshop format is so effective. You can surrender the decision-making to me and give in to the process. Stop worrying and start writing.

Given a chance to stick its oar in, the left brain panics and makes you state that everything you write is nonsense. After almost every burst of writing, someone says: ‘it’s rubbish’. When I hear that, I have a good idea that what was written down will be original, fresh and often funny. It can often reveal a writing ‘voice’ that the writer didn’t know existed. Working on your own, it’s easy to be bullied by your conscious, logical mind and lose your confidence. In the workshop you’ve got the group to give you objective feedback – including laughter. So many people discover that their writing voice is wittier and more amusing than they realised.

How come?

You’ve lived your life, and absorbed gazillions of bits of information – sights, sounds, smells, feelings, tastes, textures, experiences, abstract thoughts, jokes, emotions, music, art, dreams, longings, fantasies, nature, loves and hates – and all those books, films, TV, newspapers… this is fiction soup.

It’s been simmering away quietly in your subconscious mind, cross-matching, dividing, re-attaching and bumping up against itself.

Your conscious, rational mind – your left brain – doesn’t like soup. It doesn’t like mushy experiment – it likes solid proof. So it tries to shut the door on the kitchen and stop you mucking about in there. The left brain fetches bits when it needs them, but ignores the soup bubbling away.

When you lock your conscious thinking mind in a cupboard, you’re able to open the door to the subconscious and even the unconscious mind, and let them release all their goodies, all those marvellous ingredients you’ve stored over a lifetime, for you to use freely.

The variations you can conjure from inside your head are limitless, without going any further. Add in the outside world and new information, and you mulitply the possibilities to a googol or more. And you think you have no imagination…

So – to shut off your panicky left brain, come to the workshop,  trust your subconscious, follow the instructions and write, don’t think. Don’t wait, don’t think. Write.

You’ll be amazed. Then you’ll be an author.

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