It’s the end of the second day of the workshop series. I’m thankful that we’ll have a few days before the third and final session as these two days have been quite intense. We had a number of new participants join the workshop today and so I had to think a bit on how to introduce them into the workshop without making the session feel repetitive for participants who’d attended yesterday.
Here’s what I learned: given a space where people feel safe and accepted, they will share amazing stories. By creating a safe space for others to tell their stories, I’ve created a space that feels safe and warm and loving for myself and created a space to which participants tell me they want to return to.
Removing the mystery around story creation and throwing out the myth of talent or giftedness opens the door for those who’ve felt uncertain about writing or telling their stories. The realisation that story can be as simple as taking a walk around the block and noticing things and talking about them is enough to free participants from uncertainty and the fear of even attempting story.
At the heart of today’s session was a moment of history making. I’d prepared a science fictional scenario. In it, I asked participants to create a history of that future world from the perspective of five groups of people who are often overlooked. It was a risky exercise since I was asking participants who had never engaged with science fiction before, to imagine or envision in a science fictional way. But just as yesterday, the workshop participants blew me away.
Next week, we’ll be holding the final session of this workshop series. I know I am being ambitious yet again. Who in their right mind gives fledgling writers and storytellers only 30 minutes to build a world and create a story?
The thing is…when you tell people to just have fun, they will take you at your word. There will be laughter, there will be lots of chatter, but in the end, they will blow your socks off and to me, that’s just magic.