Although I believe I am quite creative, when it comes to writing words, I seem to struggle. I am dyslexic, but not in the classical way where letters appear back to front, or word and sentence structures confusing. I have an auditory kind of dyslexia or Auditory Processing Disorder which affects how I process information and has a dramatic effect on my ability to put pen to paper. Most people would automatically structure, say, an essay, into sentences and paragraphs, with a fairly clear sense of direction, with introduction and conclusion. When I try to do this, all my information comes at me at once, and everything becomes a complicated fuzz!
I love to read, and I love to listen to stories but processing written words is a complete nightmare for me. I cope with it by enlisting help. I have a very supportive partner who reads, more or less, everything I publish in this blog. It is all my own words, but the grammar/structure is checked by him. I have a friend who is a fabulous support to the community work we are involved with, and I also have had a mentor to help with my business development. I also have ongoing support, via the dyslexic association, to help with administrative tasks such as grant writing, which is an enormous help.
When I was asked if I wanted to run workshops within libraries around a literature/poetry theme for the Wellbeing Hi-5 celebrations taking place in Leicestershire this month, I approached with some trepidation because of my difficulty with words. But the person who approached me, Lindsey Warnes Carroll, is a writer, storyteller, performer and a good person all round! We sat down, put our heads together and came up with a workshop that combines both of our creative talents. Lindsey was more than happy to put my thoughts together with hers and the outcome was a workshop called "Inspired to Create and Make Others Smile".
Our proposal was approved by Creative Leicestershire and we were commissioned to deliver 3 workshops within library settings in Leicestershire. Quite apart from the joy of working with Lindsey, and delivering workshops to people who need support, these workshops boosted my own confidence in my ability to use strategies and resources to overcome my own APD.
The images that follow are from our first workshop. We combined the poetry with sensory experiences. Lindsey invited participants to taste a strawberry whilst I read out the poem 'Strawberries' by Edwin Morgan ...
The combination of listening to poetry and eating strawberries inspired creativity. Just what we hoped for: