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Yesterday I held my first writing workshop of the year, and it was the perfect foundation on which to build a year of insight, creativity and community. I always complete sessions with a brief round of feedback where I ask participants to share three things; something they enjoyed/were surprised by, something that challenged/didn’t work for them and how they’re feeling now, in that moment. Several people acknowledged the power of writing together, and how the group’s presence was both a joy to witness in itself, and an inspiration for their own creativity.

I resonate with this point very strongly, for though I believe in the value of developing our own recognisable ‘voice’, writing together can help us to explore styles and themes we wouldn’t otherwise consider, and so bring a greater depth and freshness to our work.

One exercise involved choosing a quality to explore (in our group we chose; generosity, compassion, courage, love and authenticity) and write that word at the top of the page followed by – is… We then wrote a sentence offering our own understanding of what that word meant, before passing our paper to the right so the next person could add their understanding of that word, and so on. When we received our papers back, we had ten minutes to write a poem inspired by the list we now had.

Below is my poem exploring the quality of Authenticity

 

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Authenticity

 

Be the author

of your own truth

and align those inner pages

with the declaration

on the cover

of your life

***

Do not edit or bind

rather write

and print

volume on volume

as you create

a welcoming life library

where the world comes

to linger for a while

 

in search of entertainment

or wisdom

or both

***

Do not fear the critics

who judge your tomes

to be lacking in vocabularial variety

and perfectly placed punctuation

for perfection is a word

we risk hanging ourselves on

as we strain up towards it

and inevitably fall

No – perfection

isn’t authentic at all

 

What are your thoughts on authenticity? It is a word I intend to explore throughout January, for reasons I will explain in a future post, so I look forward to reading your wise reflections in the comments…

Here’s hoping your 2017 is off to a great start!

Love, Harula xxx