September 24, 2007

Tap into your creative side!

Years ago, when I was practicing in the field of corporate communications, I joined a professional organization in hopes of ratcheting up my skills and continuing my development beyond the fundamentals I felt I had mastered. That decision proved to be one of the most pivotal choices I ever made, not only for my career, but also for my personal life. I was assigned a mentor who became a precious friend, Susan Lawson.

Since then Susan and I both left the field of corporate communication, following paths that allowed us to fulfill what I believe is our highest calling. In Susan’s case, that’s involved some advanced training preparing her to become a writing group facilitator. (Keep in mind Susan already had more than 25 years experience as a journalist, teacher and speaker. Her writing has appeared in a number of literary and regional general-interest publications.)

Even people who have no previous writing experience produce impressive work in these sessions. Susan believes that everyone has a strong, unique writer’s voice, that everyone is born with creative genius, and that writing is an art form belonging to all people. My engineer/husband who hires me to edit his writing would probably disagree with Susan on this. And I didn’t really believe it until I witnessed an adult workshop she presented for a public library where I worked.

To my amazement, attendees were writing what I consider publishable works in creative exercises that lasted no more than 15 minutes each! After each writing time, writers read their work to the group (only if they want to), and group members comment on what they like, what they found strong, what they will remember. Shy people often seemed eager to share because Susan creates such a safe environment for it. “We never criticize because, after all, works shared are brand-new, just-born writing,” Susan says. “There are plenty of places you can go where someone will tell you what they think you’re doing wrong. My approach is meant to be different.”

If you’d like to learn more about these workshops, visit Susan’s Web site at She’s also presenting at two fall events:

Celebrate the body in words & image
A unique day of introspection and relaxation, exploring body image through meditation, writing and collage. Participants will create a life-size “map” of their own body, write about the body from creative prompts and poetry, and incorporate what they write into their body map.

When: Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2007, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Where: 5051 Buttonwood Crescent (NW Indianapolis)
Fee: $210, payable in advance.

The Riding Horse of Thought: Central Indiana Friends of Jung
Psychiatrist Carl Jung described language as a means of carrying the abstract liberating thought, a way to strike against what hovers below the surface of our consciousness and free it from matter––"the riding horse of thought." Susan Lawson will share writing techniques anyone can use to engage the opposites and release the transcendent function. Bring paper and pen, leave your critic at home, and prepare to have fun!

When: Thursday, Oct. 4, 2007, 7 -9 p.m.
Where: Unitarian-Universalist Church of Indianapolis, 615 W. 43rd St.
Fee: $8 or free to members of Central Indiana Friends of Jung.