maandag 18 oktober 2010

Reflection on two weeks writeshop Barefootguide 2 in Kalk Bay

On Monday I arrived excited and full of expectations, but also with a feeling of despair: How can we make sense of all these first drafts. Because at arrival everyone received a big booklet with all the chapters. Most I had read already before and the styles and set up of the chapters did differ a lot. We were really missing Quang, Tripti, Alfred and Phillippa although new faces took their places: Kas (Spain), Aissata (Senegal) and Meg our illustrator.

The first week focused on feedback. I even had to present two chapters, also that of Quang. An inner and outer circle were created. With every presentation four people were in the inner circle to give you feed back. The feedback was very helpful, but meant of course a lot of re-writing. It felt also as a relief, after receiving the feedback. My chapter does make sense, but needs to be modified. I gave four people feedback my self in the inner circle. On Friday I had a long session with Doug, one of the Editors and Atieno, my writing Buddy to discuss both our chapters and how we should do the re-write. My feelings changed between “How will I really do that in such a short time” to more confidence about my writing abilities. This meeting was a turning point and very important for the writing in the second week.

In the weekend we had time to think and refresh. I went to Hermanus to watch whales. Beautiful to see them so close to the shores. So on Sunday I could start my re-writing with the ideas I had myself and the feedback from last week.

The second week had a different pace. I always started early in the morning (6.30) with a run along theWriting in Kalk Bay beach and a nice breakfast. The weather was ok, but mostly with a lot of wind. After breakfast you had time to write or talk with your editor. After lunch there was always a creative sessions, to stimulate your writing again. I painted, made a beautiful colorful collage and learned how to flash write. Great sessions which we should do more in workshops. The afternoon back to re-writing with feedback in the late afternoon. At 6 there were music sessions with Marimba lessons and drumming. Thursday we delivered our final draft to the editors with a nice Braai and Marimba performance from Doug and his band. Great dancing music.

BFG2Friday we discussed the Action Research. Next year the Barefootguide will be tried out by several organizations around a learning challenge they have to see how effective the Barefootguide is to support them. We closed with a poem and a nice new group photo of all our bare feet. And than it was time to say goodbye after two great, inspiring weeks. Writing, -re-writing and re-rewriting can be great fun and resulted in the end into a big booklet again with final drafts for the editing team. They still have to kill some of our darlings, but I am confident that an inspiring, relevant guidebook can be published and used by ourselves and our partners!

Looking back at these two weeks I also wonder how we could implement some of the creative sessions / methods within IICD, because I found out that writing in combination with creative sessions (left and write brain combined) really improves the productivity and the way you write. Also the focus on reflection was very valuable.

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