Rather rushed but full of anticipation, the three of us (that is my partner Dave, friend and work colleague Michelle, and yours truly) eventually found the correct venue. Embarrassingly, this was after knocking on the wrong door and being politely re-directed to the Isle of Arts building around the corner which is where we were meant to be. We did however manage to arrive ‘just in time’ (although slightly breathless) to a room already full with other eager participants sitting around a large table waiting for the last arrivals.
My first thoughts on looking around the table at about ten ladies the same age, or older than me, were of mild disappointment that there were no other males or younger people attending the workshop – this disappointment however was more on behalf of Dave (the only male) and Michelle (the youngest present) than for myself. Although to be really honest I do enjoy a mix of company and people to bounce off of, which is a purely selfish trait on my part that I feel bound to admit to in the hope that others will understand.
As things progressed however, I quickly let go of my rather negative and redundant feelings. We were warmly welcomed by all present, the ladies were lovely and as it turned out ‘just as eager’ as we were. It was also quite inspiring to be amongst other people ‘baring their souls’ through their writing. I also quickly realised that most of them did indeed write rather well as descriptive, passionate and witty pieces of work were read out.
Our Tutor (Pauline Robinson) herself an accomplished writer of poems and short stories was friendly and engaging, quickly putting us all ‘at ease’. She had prepared a number of creative writing exercises which motivated and bonded the group. The only criticism one could possibly make was that the workshop was a bit ‘rushed’ but Pauline had already explained that in ‘fitting in’ with other Literary Festival events she had a shorter time frame than usual and apologised to us that this was the case.
Personally I thoroughly enjoyed the creative writing workshop and it reminded me that I should put aside more time to ‘get in touch with my creative side’ as this would provide me with a healthier ‘work/ lifestyle balance’. I must admit that I was a little envious of some of the other participants who were obviously semi retired/retired providing them with more valuable time for their own interests such as reading and writing.
To summarise the creative writing workshop with Pauline Robinson, I am able to say with confidence, that it was useful, enjoyable and motivating, so much so in fact, that I am planning to attend a greater number of next year’s Purbeck Literary Festival events in order to stimulate my own creative energy and to be able to share the ‘creative process’ with other like minded people and budding authors.
Words by Wendy Imashev and photography by Michelle Stannard