This workshop is designed for writers who wish to deepen their understanding of the ideas presented in the “Coming Through the Crucible” workshop. We will use the text of The Writer’s Crucible as a starting point for an exploration of the emotional vulnerabilities we encounter in our work. Why the Crucible? Crucible is defined as: A situation of severe trial, or in which different elements interact, leading to the creation of something new. Writers know what it is to go through the crucible. It is trial by fire and the joy of making something new. This is the agony and the ecstasy of our work. We will explore in depth, the psychological, emotional and creative aspects that interact in this dynamic process and move us to experience such a tremendous range of feeling. Writers will come to a better understanding of their own psychology and develop improved ways of providing self-support through difficult times. In particular, this workshop will delve into material related to emotional flooding, shame-based reactions to rejections and critique, managing and confronting negative self-talk and the ways in which trauma lives in the body and psyche. We will also look at spiritual methods of understanding the creative process and in short meditations to transform states of emotional constriction into states of openness. This workshop will offer both an intellectual understanding of the material and experiential processes that make what we learn personally relevant. Each class will include exercises designed to connect us with and accept our emotional life. We will use writing prompts to explore the psychological material and have small group sessions to share insights and experiences that come up in the course of the program. There will be ample time to question and comment on the readings and class presentations.
Schedule for the class:
Week One: The Paradox of Self: We are one and many in the Theater of the Mind
Week Two: Understanding the Psychology of Vulnerability: Dealing with insecurities
Week Three: Trauma and the Problem of Shame: The epidemic of unworthiness
Week Four: Internal Self-Attack: Three approaches to standing up to the inner critic
Week Five: Writing as Spiritual Practice: The challenge of getting out of our way
Maximum: 12 writers