Life is moving swiftly these days and it’s good to be working again and to be writing at a steady pace as well. I’ve decided to start a new trajectory for the kids who are joining in on the discord writing sessions, moving towards helping the kids think about projects they want to work on or stories they might want to write and how best to help them achieve that.
The project that a friend and I have pitched has been approved and we hope to start working on promoting and inviting participants soon. I think that one of the things we’ll have to do is specifically go and invite potential participants actively. My hope is that in actively inviting, we create a sense of welcome. Bringing potential participants across the threshold to where they say: Okay, I’ll give this a try, is a first step.
My primary focus in the upcoming sessions is the participant. What do participants want to achieve? What stories do they want to tell? To me, it’s important to meet participants where they are in their journey. To give them freedom to connect with the sound of their own voice and the strength of their own stories. In this, I feel it’s important to share the works of writers of colour, to reconnect with musical forms that come from personal history or culture, to think about the forms we use in our own settings and to make those the building blocks on which we tell our stories. To invite participants to play and just have fun in whatever language feels most connected to their inner self. I feel this is where I would like to start as I’ve discovered that often that reconnection with the inner voice brings about a sense of wonder, the realisation that a certain power and magic exists in letting that inner voice come out. To my mind, the technical details of craft, while being necessary are of lesser importance than that discovery.
More and more, I find that colouring inside the lines–adhering to imposed structure and imposed ways of telling story ‘correctly’ (what does that even mean?) limits imagination and sense of joy and wonder. When we move outside of those lines, when we explore and have fun, then magic unfolds.
I think it’s important to emphasise that BIPOC writers write and create because we enjoy it and because we are curious and playful. Imagining and creating our own worlds and spaces bring us joy and hope and helps us work through things we wrestle with. I translate this as freedom to explore structures and other forms of tellings that live outside of the west or the establishment’s experience. It’s also a journey of exploration for me and as with all journeys, there is an element of trepidation. More than that though, there’s excitement and joy.
Looking at where I started with this post, I find myself thinking about jam sessions and improvisation and how it’s when we aren’t worried about ‘what if I play the wrong note’ that the most wonderful things come into being. One of them being: the joy of shared laughter and then the excitement of seeing what we can do with unintended disharmony.