Connection and Community
First, we have to let go of our ideas about writing, our ideas about poetry and storytelling. I don’t define writing for the group and tell them how to do it. We want to start by looking at writing in its simplest expression which is just about getting what’s inside, out.
You’ve been through extraordinary experiences. You have raw stuff inside you: feelings, thoughts, scary things, beautiful things, untold stories. When you write, you’re honoring that raw stuff and giving it a voice. That’s how you find your voice. That’s how you find your writing, your poetry your story.
This is about trusting yourself. All your life you’ve heard stories: childhood stories, religious stories, books, movies. All that is good and has had something to do with you becoming you. But you have your own story as well. A story that is just as important and valid as all the other stories you’ve ever heard. A story that is happening right now. Writing is going to help you discover and move forward with your story.
Over the years I’ve developed a bunch of fun strategies to get people writing and sharing their work. And it has to be fun because if it’s not then why do it? My goal is to make writing something you want to do by yourself, not just in class because the teacher says so. The trick is in allowing yourself to be vulnerable. If you can do that with a group of people then you can do it by yourself. Writing, like life, requires empathy and compassion, and writing and reading in a group can teach us that.
Writing is about learning to stay open and follow the words where they want to take you. Let yourself be vulnerable and you’ll be very surprised by what happens. When you follow the words you’re following your heart. That’s where your truest self can be heard. Writing is about understanding inspiration and making it a part of your life. On paper and at the mic we’ll uncover our own myth and discover what makes us unique and so connected to everyone else at the same time.