Poet, Author, Editor, Creative Writing Consultant

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

SOFT ENCOUNTERS: Writing Workshop


The first day is full of excitement and apprehension. It is a hot day but I wear a new cotton sari, a beautiful purple print with a thin gold border, the kind I love to wear, crisp and fresh and cracking to go. Like me, not purple, no gold border, but crisp and cracking to go.

 I look out of the car window and I find an advertisement that says , “Blunt and Sharp” and I think yes, that is how writings have to be, blunt and sharp. And then I think of these words that are ‘janus words’, words with multiple meanings and contrary meanings. Obviously my mind is on overdrive, getting geared up for what is coming.

The place is easy to find since I had asked for directions. I sign in the guest book at the gate and look around me. The place is beautiful, with trees and gravel and it is open and inviting. It is a sprawling complex. I am greeted by the organizer of the workshop and I feel instantly at home.
I walk with him a little distance to the classroom in one corner of the complex, after passing well laid out lawns and trees that shade the hot sunlight. The classroom is air-conditioned, which is a blessing. My CD works in their in house computer and that’s good too, first time technology goof ups may sometimes happen.

 15 eager faces turn to me. They are aged from 16 to 60, some are students, some housewives, some professionals, a couple of them retired. The binding interest is the need to be creative and to express that creativity through words.

 This first class is a workshop on Creativity. We talk of unblocking, stepping out of comfort zones, and I tell them why I believe that writers stand at a threshold, looking in and looking out, tapping inner resources and outer interactions for their writings. Both are essential, a writer is not a hermit, though he may choose to be one as he sits to write. We talked of how important it is to dream but also have the discipline to realize the dreams.

The responses to some of the images and exercises I worked with were phenomenal in their variety and the imagination was easily exercised during the presentation. The three hours with a ten minute break went quickly by, in fact we did continue a half hour beyond the allotted time till one of the girls had to leave to be with her eighteen month old daughter.

I am on a complete high, the high that comes from work well done and the connectivity made and sustained. I am now excited and confident about the next class. The students are responsive and engaged.