Workshops can boost creativity energy. I’ve been to a couple this year, learned a great deal and had fun. In fact, workshops could fast take their place among my favourite outings.
There’s a lot to be said for coming together with other like-minded people. For example, many writers say they cannot do without their writing groups. Their groups boost creative energy and productivity. They provide a safe place to experiment with new ideas. Participants enjoy reading the work of others and sharing their own work. They feel stimulated and creatively alive through the process of discussion and support that takes place.
I’ve discovered what a similarly wonderful resource a workshop can be for people on another creative path. In my time as a nurse, counselor and advocate I’ve attended (and run) quite a few workshops. Mostly I’ve thought of them as a means of passing on utilitarian skills and information. Many workshops perform that function. Many others in all sorts of areas do much more. Think for example about gardening, cooking, lifestyle and craft workshops. They often fire people’s imagination and boost creative energy.
In the creative writing sessions I facilitate I try to combine the role of teaching skillls with providing support to new and emerging writers. Until now I haven’t actually thought of my sessions as a way to encourage the creative venture of writing. It is obvious that at the hands of a skillful facilitator, a workshop can be much more than utilitarian meeting.
Since I started my blog a little over twelve months ago, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend two workshops related to blogging.
The first was a social media workshop with the title, ‘Create a Personal Brand’. From her experience and knowledge as a psychologist, writer, blogger and facilitator, Glennys Marsdon, packed the session with information. She added big dollops of humor and enthusiasm . She enabled everyone to share their experiences so we also learned from each other. I loved being with other people who were looking for ways to make social media more relevant. I enjoyed the generous sharing of ideas ideas. Read more in my blog here.
That workshop set me on a new pathway of thinking about my blog. I loved that workshop!
As a result, my blog changed. The changes were subtle. At first I wondered if I was the only person who could see the difference. But apparently not. Little tweaks here and there paid off. People told me they liked it. I got more hits. I experimented a bit more. More hits. Magic!
Last week I was lucky enough to secure a place in a two-hour workshop facilitated by social media consultant Amanda Kendle. The workshop was specifically about blogging: ‘Get your blog ready for 2015’. Another group of enthusiastic bloggers met. Some knew each other. Others knew no one. Some were experienced bloggers and users of other social media. Some had not yet published a blog but they certainly knew what they were doing. Then there were was me – keen, but hardly even a technological tourist in this world of tech natives.
There was something for everyone. I learned new skills. I learned about a couple of software plug-ins that I could add onto my blog program to make it more functional. One of the plug-ins is an editorial calendar that may well change the way I think about blogs forever. Much more importantly, I inhaled enthusiasm and joy.
Thank you, Glennys and Amanda for the different ways you have boosted my creative energy through your workshops this year.
I’m thinking differently about workshops now I’ve discovered they can boost creative energy so powerfully. I’m on the lookout for any in 2015 that will excite and stimulate me.
I’d love to hear about workshops that have inspired you, or those you plan to attend in 2015.