I facilitated my first Creative Writing Workshop in Mauritius on Saturday 20 April 2019 at The Corner Lounge (a cafe) in Quatre-Bornes. It was sold out (14 seats) – although one participant couldn’t make it in the end because of transport issues.
There was a mix of people, from different age groups (minimum age 16) to different backgrounds to different parts of the country – some coming as far as the North and East of the island (which can take more than an hour to get from to the cafe) – but all, with a common love of and for writing. As I got to know everyone a little bit, I felt so privileged and honoured that they had chosen not only to take the time and effort to come to my workshop but, more importantly, to trust me with their stories.
” [The workshop] allowed us to give [ourselves] permission to explore our creative side and be playful with it, while being with like-minded people.” Victoria Desvaux
It was a great morning of laughter, eating, drinking (non-alcoholic, I hasten to add!), writing, creativity, sharing and connections – everything I could have hoped for…and more! But don’t just take my word for it, read more about the thoughts of the participants, the real stars of the workshop, and see the pictures and posts from the workshop on my Instagram ‘Workshops’ Highlights. It truly brings a smile to my face every time I think back on it.
“This creative writing workshop is not solely about writing, it is also about feeling less lonely when you story tell, it is about connecting to people who can relate to the voices in your head and it is strongly about finding your own voice and style.”
Participants on the workshop are given ‘homework’ to do for the next week: to try and write for a maximum of 10 (if they’re only just starting out) or 15 (if they’re already writing) minutes every day. They receive an email check-in from me a week after to find out how they’ve been getting on with their writing because I only know too well how after the energetic burst of a workshop, the tiny matter of everyday life just seems to get in the way! Certain feelings of doubt or ‘block’ also come knocking, and it is sometimes easy to simply give up.
I support them by reminding them why they want to write (an exercise we do in the workshop), and to be compassionate towards themselves, to allow themselves to play… because writing is joyful. And it is important for them, for us, not to lose sight of this. Of course, at times, it will be hard – as you’re not able to express yourself properly, as the words feel clunky, as you don’t know where you’re going with something, as you just sit and stare at words that make no sense, as you feel frustrated with not being able to finish something… but the main thing is not to give up. Because soon enough, the clouds will clear up, the sun will shine again, and your writing with it! Trust me.
If you would like to be the first to know about the next Atelier Gintzy creative writing workshops – I am currently looking at venues and other locations – then please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org