I taught a writing workshop for UCLArts&Healing today and a wonderful group of people showed up. They wrote poems and stories from prompts such as "I remember..." and a list of stuff from their current life that might be turned into personal essays. And I'm thinking (as I always do) that people who show up in workshops to write are brave as well as interesting. At 9:30 we were all strangers and by 12:30 we knew a lot about one another, the dark as well as the light. I love the no bullshit aspect of writers in workshops. And I love the courage of people who write the truth.
At 12:30 the workshop was over and everyone went off with their stories - the essay about buying a pair of sneakers, the poem about starting life over, the memoir about a sibling's death, the essay about taking a stand-up comedy class, etc. I just hope all of them are now at their computers - this minute! - taking those stories seriously and working to finish them.
I am the only one who can tell the story of my life and say what it means. - Dorothy Allison