“Inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving, but it comes into us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness. I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten—happy, absorbed, and quietly putting one bead on after another.” —Brenda Ueland
In this workshop, you will view and create writing as an act of quietly putting one bead on after another. “The healing that emerges from a writing practice may be slow and subdued, but definitely powerful,” says Kathleen McClung.
“We’ll discuss excerpts from Writing as a Way of Healing: How Telling Our Stories Transforms Our Lives and in particular, we’ll focus on, and practice, the qualities of a healing narrative.
“We’ll look at examples from published memoirs by Alice Sebold, Joan Didion, Mark Doty and others who have consciously used the writing of their artistic works to help them heal from painful personal experiences. And we’ll talk about the role of contemplation, discipline, and ritual in shaping creative work that is genuinely transformational.”
Participants will have opportunities to write and share short pieces in class and will learn about additional books and resources. While not a therapy group, the class is intended for both new and experienced writers who value writing as self-exploration and fine art and who want to begin or deepen their own writing practice. Within a supportive setting, class participants will be encouraged to take risks with their work and to share the gifts of self-discovery and transformation with a larger community.
Kathleen McClung is the author of two poetry collections, The Typists Play Monopoly and Almost the Rowboat. Her work appears widely in journals and anthologies including Southwest Review, Naugatuck River Review, Mezzo Cammin, The MacGuffin, Forgotten Women, Sanctuary, Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, and elsewhere. Winner of the Rita Dove, Morton Marr, Shirley McClure, and Maria W. Faust national poetry prizes, she is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee. Associate director of the Soul-Making Keats literary competition, she has mentored hundreds of writers at Skyline College, The Writing Salon, and other colleges and has taught/advised student teachers in the credential program at Mills College. For ten years she has directed Women on Writing: WOW Voices Now on the Skyline campus. In 2018-2019 she is a writer-in-residence at Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.
- Saturday, July 20, 10:00am-4:00pm