On May 11, those who attended the General Meeting were treated to an awesome workshop by Claudia Mosby. Mosby is a freelance writer, has a bi-weekly column on midlife in the Record Searchlight, and has a gig for a once a month national yearlong series on mental health that is carried locally. And she still has the energy to be an adjunct faculty member in the Communications Department at Shasta College.
Where does she get that energy, you ask? By practicing what she preaches; er, facilitates. We participated in a shortened version of Mosby’s highly successful workshops on Writing for Wellness that focus on using expressive narrative writing.
I resort to writing for delving deeper into what (or sometimes who) is bugging me. I make a lot of discoveries. But occasionally I find that it is nothing more than putting words on paper, and revelations about me don’t surface. But during Mosby’s writing exercises that started with the typical “What’s on Your Mind” scenario, we were advised to reconsider the event or experience we had wrote about, paying particular attention to:
- the characters
- the setting
- the event itself
- the consequences
- the meaning
Then we were told to change perspectives. For this First Person junkie, that meant writing in the Third Person.
Wowzer! Blurting out loud, “Powerful,” while still writing, I found that my normal kind words and no-negative-thoughts had transgressed to a critical role. And in the Third Person, it was not me that was beating me up, but that paid observer who was being truthfully honest.
While others discussed their insights and feelings as the result of the perspective shift, I sat in awe of what had just transpired in my head; my outburst seemed to cover it all. The workshop moved on to a third rewrite, using as many positive emotion words as seemed realistic. Meanwhile I sat there. And sat there. And sat there.
Ok, I admit that I did not participate in the latter sessions that included using positive words as they might naturally bubble up and occur in the narrative. Nor did I experiment with context and voice by writing the narrative as someone either outside the experience or with a very different perspective.
But I have the opportunity to participate in her community classes & workshops that will be offered in the next several months. In July, a Memoir & Legacy will be hosted at Pilgrim Church. In September Mosby will lead a full blown, non-abridged Writing toward Wellness Workshop and October brings a Spiritual Autobiography class. More information can be found at www.writinginsideout.org, or writing c/o PO Box 492081 Redding, CA 96049-2081, or calling 355-6827. Writing Inside Out can also be found on Facebook in the Pages as WritingInsideOut.