A SATURDAY WELL SPENT.

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(Left to Right – Me, Gemma, Amie & Maxine)

 

If you’ve read my previous post, you’ll have seen that I was due to attend Amie’s writing workshop. I’m thrilled to report that it was a wonderful success! I met the lovely ladies above and also the brilliant James and Jen.

With this being my very first workshop, I didn’t know what to fully expect as explained in A Little Thing Called Fate. I knew that a good chunk of writing was on the agenda and as soon as I sat down, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to push myself to do so.

In all honesty, I tried to push the workshop to the back of my mind on this trip. I knew if I’d have excessively thought about it prior to the day, I’d work myself into a panic of what could happen and the worry of what or if I’d even be able to create. I was stunned that on the morning of, I’d felt so relaxed. Once I’d arrived, I walked in and Amie greeted me with a welcoming hug and pleasantries were exchanged between all. And breathe.

Before any pen met paper, we sat down to introduce ourselves, our work and overall goals. I knew that I would need to open myself up and speak about my projects, this certainly was the place to do so and a space I’d quickly felt safe in.

It was so interesting to hear everyone’s stories or pieces that they were working on; for the sake of privacy, I won’t be sharing their ideas, yet I cannot wait to hear their progress and I wish them nothing but all the success in the world with their journeys and aspirations.

Amie’s seminars were ones that didn’t feel daunting, she’d created a safe haven for all of us to work in and I must thank her once again for that. We were able to speak freely and bounce off of one another, which was another facet to the day I’d felt was extremely rewarding.

For years, I’ve really struggled with speaking about my work. I would class myself as a very confident person, yet writing is something that I hold extremely close to my heart and I feel as though I can only talk to a minute handful of, in a way in which I feel comfortable. When I do with others outside of that small group, I can feel easily overwhelmed and sell myself short of both my stories and aspirations.

With this, I knew I wanted to come to the workshop and be as open as I could be. I felt a small sense of pride with the fact that I’d pushed myself to do so and it paid off. With every opportunity that arose to share with the group, I took it with both hands and I’m so, so glad I did. I’m proud of us all in being so open, so well done team!

I felt so honoured to be sat in a room with such wonderful people and to hear their tales, to get to know them a little and to witness a change in them and myself since we walked in the door, first thing in the morning.

To begin with, we were asked to write down our intentions for the day, mine were as follows:-

  • To get a better understanding of the publishing process and gain confidence with taking the next steps.
  • Explore my character through diving in – what’s occurring in scenes? Where is her life at, at this point?
  • Perhaps attempt to start at the start? Never done before, may be an option to explore?
  • Scenery – where is it based? Nail down location.

The first exercise was to retell a moment that was close to us personally, whether that be through embarrassment, sadness – a number of things. I chose sadness as I felt as though I’d be able to draw something from a specific memory and with that I’d struck gold.

The aim of the exercise was to bring a truth to our writing as this will help us achieve better storytelling – truth = relatability. My ultimate goal is for my reader to really feel something pour from those pages, I want them to almost be hand in hand with my characters through my novel and witness their story first hand. It’s ironic to bring an essence of truth to pure fiction!

When it came to the pockets of writing – forty-five minutes here, twenty there, the worry of not being able to create washed away. As soon as I began to scrawl away, more words fell into my lap.

Some attended having a rough idea of what they wanted to achieve that day, I personally wanted to get more of an understanding of my character and her world, which I do feel as though I have achieved. Where this story will take me, I have no idea, yet I’m really excited to find out and explore this character further.

This workshop has helped me to view myself as a writer rather differently. Some of the exercises we did turned the mirror onto ourselves where Amie focused on self care as a writer. She reminded us of the importance of being kind to ourselves when it comes to our art.

It is incredibly easy to be negative; let’s face it, we are our own worst critics – yet another part of our seminar was to identify said critic and then almost challenge it. The positive affirmations we were asked to write didn’t come naturally, yet they are now in my notebook and reread with a smile.

I believe those words and I truly believe in myself.

I have taken away so much more from this workshop than just words on a page. There are many things from that day that I will cherish and keep to myself, yet I hope that there are many more opportunities like this in the future. Now I have attended this workshop, I feel it’s given me the confidence to do this kind of thing again.

Most of all, it’s reminded me of just how much I want this.

The items on my own personal agenda, I feel as though I have achieved. Amie has given me some wonderful advice with the next steps to take and I am now looking at said steps with determination and not fear. Of course, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have my reservations, but after Saturday with such a wonderful bunch, I am feeling a lot lighter in regards to the publishing journey.

We leave Sydney tomorrow for home and what a trip it’s been for so many different things, the workshop has simply been the cherry on the cake. The first thing I’ll do as I get in the house is fly through my Writers and Artists Yearbook 2019 with my highlighter!

Once again, a massive thank you to Amie for being such a wonderful mentor and an all-round diamond. It’s been such a pleasure to get to know you and to watch your journey over the years, I can’t wait to see what’s to come! I thank you for your kindness, your support and your allowance to let us flourish.

Finally to Gemma, James, Maxine and Jen – I wish you all the luck in the world with your journies, it’s been an absolute delight getting to know you all and hear your stories. I wish you nothing but the best going forward. Thank you all, and Amie, for being so transparent and allowing me an insight into your works.

If you’d like to learn more about future workshops with Amie, or keep an eye on updates, just click here. Alternatively, you can visit her Instagram by also clicking here.

As always, thanks again for having a read and take care.

p.s. – also a HUGE thank you to Jase for being my guide to getting there. Couldn’t have done it without you, Bucko!

 

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