Footsteps Festival 2021

Your Story Matters – Writing Workshop

11/04/2022

“There is no greater agony than carrying an untold story inside you” – Maya Angelou

 

Our aspiration is to find joy and connection from the simple act of writing and sharing – and this may even be something that you can carry into your wider life: some people who live with pain have told us that writing has been their best way of reconnecting with people and ‘explaining’ their situation without it being overwhelming.

    Monday 11th April 6.00 – 7.30pm BST

Places are limited for this workshop and it will not be available as a recording – we want it to be a very safe place for people to feel comfortable exploring their story and their writing (though sharing is not obligatory, just hoped for!) If we get a lot of interest we will put on a second event!

Your Story matters writing workshop

 

 

“Your Story Matters”

This workshop aims to provide a chance to explore self-discovery and meaning-making through writing, and the experience of sharing, bearing witness and supporting others through high-quality listening.

Our aspiration is to find joy and connection from the simple act of writing and sharing – and this may even be something that you can carry into your wider life: some people who live with pain have told us that writing has been their best way of reconnecting with people and ‘explaining’ their situation without it being overwhelming.

You only need to bring yourself, a pen / pencil and paper.

 

The Workshop is live on Zoom

The workshop will last for 90 minutes, but if that feels too challenging for you, you are welcome to join us for just the first one or two exercises (which are shorter). We will provide explanations of the writing exercises in the post session resources which will be available on the website or via e-mail, so you can try them at home by yourself or with family and friends at any time.

 

 

 

orange road running into the distance with a house and green crops on either side

Picture by Clair Jacobs

artwork with black swirls and spirals on white background

Artwork by Deb Penman

Why Write?

We want to start by making the act of writing and finding the meaning of the stories accessible for every one of you. As human beings, we need ways to make sense of what we are experiencing, and writing is one of those ways. When we write, we give concrete form to the way we understand our worlds.

Often when we think about writing and stories we imagine voluminous novels, fancy metaphors, big words … but our workshop is not about that!

Amazing, beautiful and powerful stories can be told in a few words. Here are some of the examples:

 

Poem by Mary Oliver

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand that this too was a gift.

 

Famous six-word memoir attributed to Hemingway

For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.

 

The six-word expression of gratitude (The New York Times, November 2020)

Lost job. Lost boyfriend. Found happiness.

This stinking year is nearly over.

 

 

Stories don’t have to be long in order to be revelatory and therapeutic.

We write so we come to know ourselves better – we don’t worry about grammar, punctuation, creativity, fluency, and especially don’t worry if your writing looks unfinished – you may even come to find out that the lack of punctuation means something in your writing.

 

Join us, Join in…

This is an invitation to look inward and to share with others in the pain community. We are all taking a risk here by choosing to write and share our stories … If by any chance you write something that you don’t you want to share, that is fine. Nobody will force you to read your story. But because the aim of our workshop is about the connection as well as the joy, we invite you to explore how sharing your writing could create meaningful and helpful connections for you. Your stories will stay personal and private to those in the workshop with you.

 

small green plant learning to grow

 

 

person standing on cliff looking at the view

 

blow your horn - a railway tunnel

Your facilitators

 

We are a collaborative group of pain therapists and persons living with pain with an interest in narratives, stories and the value of creativity and shared expression.

 

Sanja Maretic, Senior Pain Clinician at Lincolnshire Community Pain Management Service, special interests: social determinants of health, structural competency and narrative medicine.

 

Clair Jacobs, pain management physiotherapy lead at INPUT, St Thomas’, interested in stories, narrative healthcare and the way we can explore and open up our ideas through storytelling and listening.

 

 

 

 

 

Deb Penman, occupational therapist at INPUT, St Thomas’, has led creative writing sessions for patients in mental health and pain management settings, and loves hearing people’s stories and seeing how we can connect with each other through writing.

Niki Jones – lives well with pain and writes for understanding and enlightenment –  but mostly for the cathartic release of fear, sorrow and utter delight.

to be continued

The date for “Your Story Matters”  is Monday 11th April 6.00 -7.30 pm GMT 

Places are limited for this workshop and it will not be available as a recording – we want it to be a very safe place for people to feel comfortable exploring their story and their writing (though sharing is not obligatory, just hoped for!) If we get a lot of interest we will put on a second event!

 

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