I ran a writing workshop a few weeks ago for quite a mixed group of people who’ve had little experience sharing their stories on paper.
The lady sitting beside me seemed reluctant to begin despite us having chatted over her ideas, and it suddenly struck me that maybe she found the act of writing difficult.
So I swapped my piece of lined paper for a plain one and began recording my own snatch of story as a drawing first. Within seconds, she’d begun to do the same and in the share-around, showed everyone the picture she’d created of her pet.
Everyone listened as she explained the picture, some chipped in comments and she was happy. As she left the session she was asked by the organiser whether she’d enjoyed herself and she replied ‘yes, it was great!’ Which was a wonderful result for me, given my initial panic that she’d put down her pen and move away from the activity.
All of which has reminded me that like humankind itself, I was a ‘draw-er of pictures’ first and my ability to write words developed afterwards.
And that having the chance to tell your story – however you do that – is a powerful and enervating thing.