Monday, June 6, 2011

The Right Brain Method

By Kate Collins

I wanted to share with you my new project – teaching a creative writing class to women victims of domestic violence. I started two weeks ago and have had a lot of positive feedback already. My goal is to get them out of their left brain thinking, awaken their imaginations, tap into their creativity, and let them script new images of, and roles for, themselves.

Truthfully, I’m doing this as much for my sake as for theirs. As a former teacher, I’ve always loved helping others learn; I feel passionately about fiction writing; I’m finding new purpose in my life; and it’s a way to honor my husband’s memory. In his long career as a lawyer, he was a strong women’s advocate.

I started with simple right brain exercises and will slowly move them toward story writing. Today I plan to have them do some sketching, such as to draw an object upside down, and to design their private room of peace and happiness, wall by wall. The women are responding eagerly and even loved their homework assignment.

I’m crossing my fingers that their enthusiasm and interest stay strong. If you have any tips or advice, please send them my way. This is a brand new experience for all of us and I really want it to turn out well.

Have a great week.


signlady217 said...

Sounds like your class is off to a great start. Good luck with the rest of it!

Sue said...

SOunds like a wonderful class....You wouldn't consider coming to Cedar Rapids Iowa and teaching one would you????? Sure wish you could.

Sarita said...

I love it that you're doing this. You've found a path to walk that comforts you as well as honors your husband's memory. I am so pleased for you.

It's hard, finding a new way in a world turned upside down. I am inspired by your progress. I still haven't figured out what I'm meant to do now that my darling man is gone.

I hope your women grow stronger day by day.

Kate Collins said...

Thanks to all for your well wishes. Sarita, I'm still finding my way. This is a start toward getting out of my own head and thinking of others who have suffered in silence for years. It helps a lot. I hope you're going to a grief counselor or support group. That also has helped me tremendously.

Karen B said...

What a wonderful idea for a class - best wishes to you and your participants!

Thanks to all of you for your "Stay-cation" newsletter. I really enjoyed it even though I am nowhere near any of the locations.

Aurian said...

What a great thing to do Kate! Sadly, I have no creative bones in my body at all. I can't even draw a straight line with a ruler! But I am a very happy reader.

Thanks for the Stay-cation newsletter. Guess it is time you all send your characters to Europe, then I could follow your advice ;)

Linda McDonald said...

This is a great idea Kate. I currently work at a counseling office and many of the clients who come in are dv survivors. Most are mandated by the court to come to counseling,so it can be a tough crowd at times. Some have no boundaries and are really resistant to counseling. However, there are others who really do want help and want to make better decisions in their lives and truly make better lives for themselves. They must complete activities during the group classes (written exercises) that makes them really analyze their situations and their lives. Sometimes that is not really "fun" work, so I think they would really benefit from a creative writing class. It's an awesome idea. I wish you the best with your class. I'd love to hear updates on how it is turning out.

Nanc said...

It is so wonderful that you are reaching out in your quest to regain your own footing...may I suggest that you visit a website that I stumbled on recently...I was so moved that I ordered the books!!

My first thought was how empowering this would be for women faing challenges..then I realized it is great for all women!!

Much love and continued blessings...

Let me know what you think, OK?

Kate Collins said...

Nanc, I will definitely check out that website and make a comment back here afterward.

Linda, I will post updates here on the progress I'm making with the women. I was originally to do a journaling class, but in talking with staff, I decided this route might be a better way to open them up to new ideas. So far, so good, fingers crossed.