Virtual

ERC Pathlight Writing Workshop

Mar 21, 2024 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm (MDT)
Virtual

Presented by

Lara Jacobs, MFA

Lara Jacobs, MFA

Lecturer, Program for Writing and Rhetoric University of Colorado Boulder

Are you a storyteller at the table, a keeper of private journals, a chronicler in morning pages? Perhaps you’re someone who used to write, who writes a first page and doesn’t know where to go next, who’s never written but always wanted to, who has untold stories burning inside your chest.

This series of workshops is for writers at all stages of experience and at any point on your mental health journey. When we find language and form for our stories, we find new ways of being. Our stories are living organisms; they change as we change.

In our mental health journeys, we sometimes feel powerless. Writing can be a form of agency. We create a self on the page that doesn’t yet exist or isn’t yet recognized by the outside world. We’ll find inspiration from the fragmented and sensory forms many of our memories take and learn how we can transform these images, lines, and moments into real and fictional narratives.

You can expect writing prompts and exercises as well as tools to find your voice. We’ll speak about the writing process, silencing our inner critics, and learning to listen to our creative selves.

This is a time for community, for storytelling, for joy.

These workshops are for beginners, scribblers, memoirists.

18+

As this is a live event for our community, no slides or recordings will be provided. We look forward to seeing you.

Creativity and our Mental Health

A note from the instructor:

I am here (and you might be) because I struggled for a long time with my mental health and with an eating disorder. One of the things I lost during those years was my creativity. Writing was part of what freed me, but also the hardest thing to recover.

As the actor Evanna Lynch writes in her memoir, The Opposite of Butterfly Hunting:

Creativity was this swirling, wild, mysterious language, but now I lived in a colorless, angular world that promised me a certainty I valued above all else. And where before I was just scribbling writing, moving for the mere joy of it, now…I tried to squeeze it out and make it do something worthwhile, be special, be important, be good. I could no longer see the point of art if it wasn’t good. But that’s the tricky thing about art: it’s never strictly good or bad, it’s just expression…It was always, by its very nature so imperfect…The anxiety and frustration with my creative endeavors turned into an actual fear of blank pages and palettes of paint. There was too much potential and too much room to fail, so day by day, I chose perfection over creativity; I chose no more creativity and no more mistakes.

During each of our workshops, I hope you follow your desire to create, you make mistakes, you have fun. Silence your critics; listen to your imagination; trust yourself.

FAQ

Q: I’m not a writer. Can I still join?
A: Absolutely! All are welcome. This workshop is open to everyone at all stages of experience. You might come because you have never tried writing, you have a resolution to keep a journal, you have ambitions to write a memoir. The exercises are adaptable to those first picking up a pen as well as seasoned writers. You are also welcome to join to hear others’ stories and to be part of the community.

Q: I find writing difficult—especially about my past.
A: I understand. We will talk about how to approach writing about our lives from our present selves. Mental health wellness is an important part of writing and of these workshops.

Q: Will we share what we write?
A: The page (or screen) is a private space. Write everything down without censoring yourself. There will be time for participants to share (only if you choose). However, we ask that you are mindful of others’ experiences on their mental health journeys when you read your story.

Have questions or need more information about this group?
Email: [email protected]

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