Writing is something I like to work on. In late 2005 I went along to a Writing Workshop for people who were blind or had low vision. I was so nervous. Thinking I was going to not write anything or worse, something 'bad', as in not written well in any sense, and I would be embarrassed and humiliated. But I had decided, a decision set in concrete, I was going to try. I wanted to get my writing 'active' again. I needed to.
I met a wonderful woman, who was facilitating the workshop. She had thoughtfully prepared the exercises we would do. She had people there who would, if asked, read, or write for us, as required, what we wanted. I could still write using pen and paper. Some were using braille, some using a small voice recorder, and a few asked someone to scribe for them.
I was not able to read my writing aloud. Too nervous, I could not raise my voice.
One of the exercise was to paying attention to this exact moment. Using our senses, all you could sense, inside and out. What are you aware of, and use that to begin your writing.
I took a couple minutes to think, to focus, (but I am not writing about my feelings!)
It was a hot November day, my stocking socks were irritating. I wanted something to eat. I had a capsicum...
Some people like apples; I like capsicums, so, maybe that 's weird?
So, I wrote: my crunchy munchy capsicum, yum, yum, yum, so crisp and juicy in my tum, tum, tum...
Something silly, like that, they will laugh at me. I don't know if I want them to read it. But when it was read, the laughing did not sound like derision. The wonderful facilitator was smiling, enjoying my spontaneity, the fun of it, and observed it really was in the moment.
After the workshop ended, and I heard some good writers, and met some, too, and we got to talking about how we would like to do this sort of thing again.
And our writing group was born. The facilitator became the group's facilitator, intending to only do that until we got ourselves established and created our own facilitator. Never happened.
That was a good day, great memories. And some very good writing came out of that group.
I learned many things. One of the most important was to begin with first thoughts, no censoring what I want to write, and no critiquing; that comes later when editing and redrafting. Immediately, I was learning to set aside thoughts of whether what I was writing was good or bad, right or wrong, worth writing or not. I was writing; that's the important thing.