Random Writing Workshop

It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond with Gail Lennstrom

Writers in the Mountains (WIM) presents It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond, a 12-week-long creative writing workshop led by Gail Lennstrom. Beginning on August 26, 2020, each two-hour session will be held online on Wednesdays from 3 to 5 p.m. An introductory session will be held on August 12.

Are you a retired or soon-to-be retired person seeking a post-work pastime, an artistic pursuit, or a path to self-discovery and deeper levels of purpose and higher creativity? Have you been reflecting on your life and perhaps thinking it would be fun to write your memoir? Many retirees and other midlifers considering such things often find themselves also wishing for help with a structured approach or with getting past their reluctance or the intimidation of the creative process. Author Julia Cameron, creator of best-selling The Artist’s Way, the iconic workbook on discovering one’s creativity that has inspired millions since its publication in 1992, has released a new workbook for exploring these questions that is designed specifically for people in the midlife chapter of their lives who are looking to define, redefine, or re-create themselves—or just the impetus to write! The workbook is divided into twelve chapters filled with guidelines, stories, and questions to reignite the heart, mind, and senses: Wonder, Freedom, Connection, Purpose, Honesty, Humility, Resilience, Joy, Motion, Vitality, Adventure, and Faith.

As workshop facilitator, Gail Lennstrom will reinforce the use of the Daily Morning Pages and Weekly Artist Date tools from the original workbook while guiding an exploration of the tools and questions Cameron has added to her new book to serve as catalysts for unearthing memories and inspirational materials to be incorporated into memoir writing. The class is designed for new writers, with an emphasis on the voluntary sharing of self-discoveries and insights more than critique. More experienced writers are welcomed, as well; for those, the exercises can serve as a map into avenues of detailed material for their works.

The class begins with a free introductory session to review the workbook and assignment expectations, allow time for questions and answers, and give participants a chance to assess their level of commitment to the process. Thereafter, each of the twelve classes in the series will focus on the weekly chapter assignments, and memories will be chronologically explored in segments from birth to present age.

Lennstrom first facilitated a class on The Artist’s Way at the Pine Hill Community Center almost twenty years ago, and has mentored a master’s degree candidate in the workbook as part of her thesis. She has continued to “work” the book on her own every few years and has facilitated two other reading and discussion groups through the New York Council for the Humanities at the Open Eye Theater in Margaretville, New York. She has had four plays produced at the Open Eye in the past five years as part of their ten-minute Summer Shortcuts series, and has hosted a monthly radio show called “Playtime” as part of Writers in the Mountains’ “The Writer’s Voice” on WIOX in Roxbury, New York, since 2017. Lennstrom will be working the book along with the class.

To register, e-mail writersinthemountains@gmail.com. To register online, visit writersinthemountains.org. The class fee is $150, and students will need to purchase their own copy of the book. Once registered, participants will be given instructions on how to attend the class through online streaming services.

Writers in the Mountains is a 501 ( c ) (3) not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide a nurturing environment for the practice, appreciation and sharing of creative writing. Learn more at writersinthemountains.org.

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