COMBO SPECIAL: Raw Writing + Finding a Way In
“The first draft is the child’s draft,” writes Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird. The first draft, she continues, is “where you let it all pour out and then let it romp all over the place… You just let this childlike part of you channel whatever voices and visions come through and onto the page.”
The writing that results is raw, uncooked and unprocessed. And it’s from these raw ingredients that the most delicious and fabulous final drafts are made.
“So many of us think we should be able to sit down and write perfectly crafted sentences, paragraphs and stories without writing those raw first drafts,” says instructor Elaine Beale. “But the fact is, that our ‘raw writing’ is not only necessary, it’s actually a lot of fun. It allows us to take mystery trips through our unconscious. It’s exciting and exhilarating. We come across things that we could never have anticipated with our conscious minds. All writers need to play, discover, experiment. Like Anne Lamott says, we need to let our writing romp.”
So, if you plan to come to this workshop, leave your perfectionist at the door! Because you’ll be focusing on the playful joy of writing, on launching yourself without inhibition onto the page. You’ll be helped by visualization and relaxation techniques, timed writing exercises, and other creative techniques.
“This will be a playful, nonjudgmental workshop,” says Elaine. “We’ll pile on the inspiration and we won’t worry about getting it ‘right.’ It’s true that much of the writing process involves revision and rewriting, but without the ingredients of imagination, experimentation and play, you have nothing to work with at all. All writers—new and experienced—need to generate raw writing to remain inspired.”
Elaine Beale’s second novel, Another Life Altogether, was published by Random House in 2010. It was received praise from the Boston Globe, Lambda Literary, Curve Magazine, the Bay Area Reporter, and Publishers Weekly among others, and was featured in Oprah Magazine. Elaine was the winner of the 2007 Poets and Writers California Writers Exchange Award and has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She has taught creative writing for more than a decade.