If you are reading this, it is likely that you have finished your three exercises, your free-write, and participated in our discussions on Discourse. If you have not done so yet, please hop on to our Blog Post 2 discussion thread on Discourse when you can and share your free-writings with the others.
I would love it if you would read each other's work (even if you can't read all of it - I know we have a lot of people in this workshop!) and have a casual conversation about how you felt about these exercises, if they were hard or easy for you to write, if you could see yourself incorporating exercises similar to these in your teaching, and whether or not you felt your imagination grow a little bit when letting go of your anxieties, worries, and self-doubt as you created colorful writing on paper. Was it helpful to go back and write like a kid again? Why or why not? Do you think we should put less stress on our students' creative minds and give them opportunities to go back in time and leave the hard work alone for a little while? How long has it been since your participated in a free-write? Is that something you could see your students doing?
Please feel free to answer these questions in your discussions with one another, and any other questions that may have come up when you were writing. Whatever is on your mind, I'd like to hear it!
I will do my best to post my own free-write on this blog post sometime tomorrow (I write this Tuesday night) or in our Blog 2 Discussion on Discourse.
And now, I'd like to say thank you. Thank you so much for choosing my workshop and for joining me in these exercises and readings. I hope that you enjoyed participating in them as much as I enjoyed brainstorming them.
I would be lying if I said that leading this workshop wasn't intimidating to me. I am used to teaching first year law students writing and grammar skills. I have never taught creative writing or anything like this - and as a fairly new teacher, I was terrified of how this would go - especially once I realized it would all be online and sadly not in Denver.
While I sat here all day trying to write this discussion and farewell, I was overcome with extreme writer's block and doubt. Writing this now, I realize how ironic and silly that is, given the topic of this workshop! But I think that just goes to show that no matter what we are writing, no matter who we are writing to, no matter what we are writing for, it is important to cut ourselves some slack.
Writing is hard. Brainstorming new ideas and tapping into our creative minds is hard. Trying our best to portray the thoughts and images in our mind onto paper or a screen is really hard. So why are we hard on ourselves, too?
If we are hard on ourselves and our abilities, I think it is very important to remember that our students are hard on themselves, too. Especially our older students who have lost a bit of their imaginations and freedom since growing up.
If there is anything I can hope for you to take away from this workshop, it is this: Please don't ever stop writing like a kid. Please don't put limits on your imagination. Please exercise your creative mind often, but especially in times of stress or hardship - that's when we need it most. And just for me, break out the colored pencils or crayons or markers sometimes, especially in class but also at home.
I wish the best to all of you, and I sincerely hope that you all are staying safe and well.
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