It’s been a busy couple of months….and that’s the main reason I haven’t written a blog post in so long.
I’ve recently finished writing my 2nd book (a personal development book for women) and have to soon start writing Book 3 (commercial fiction for women filled with love, drama and intrigue….the works!) But what I want to talk about in today’s post is the awesome fun I had at my recent Creative Writing Workshop for kids held in the Sydney school holidays.
It was a 2 hour workshop and I was very keen to pack in as much helpful information as possible. While chatting with my own children once about couple of years ago, I asked them a simple question. This was the question that ultimately led to the creation of my writing workshops which I’ve been conducting in Australia as well as India over the past nearly 2 years. I asked them: ‘Do you ever feel anxious when you stare at a blank page just before starting an essay or narrative for a school project?’ All of them shrugged nonchalantly, rolled their eyes and said ‘But that’s the story of every student’s life. We never seem to know where to start or what to write.’
It set me thinking. This wasn’t a problem just for young writers. Even adult writers often struggle with blank page anxiety. They don’t know what the first line should be, or the last line for that matter. Other times, they struggle with finding ideas. And occasionally, there are just too many ideas in the head but no clue as to how to get them down on paper.
I knew then itself that that was what I would teach kids. Strategies, tools and techniques to combat the overwhelming fear of staring at a blank page. At the beginning of my workshops I always say ‘There are 2 types of people in the world: those who love writing and those who don’t. Which category do you belong to?’ A few boldly say they love writing. But there are always a few in the group who meekly mumble that they hate writing. Why do you hate it, I ask? And the reasons are always the same. Don’t know where to start, don’t know what to write about, don’t know how to structure my writing. Great, I said. I shall ask you at the end of my workshop if you still dislike creative writing. And it gives me tremendous JOY to say that without fail, each and every child agrees that they had never realised creative writing could be so much FUN!!!
I’m humbled by the flood of ‘Thank You’ emails and calls I’ve received after my recent workshop.
The world needs more writers. And I’m deeply grateful that through my writing workshop, the children I’ve taught have managed to perceive creative writing in a new and positive light.
(My next creative writing workshop for kids will be held in next school holidays in Sydney. If you’re not already on my mailing list, do write to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll email you information about upcoming workshops.)