The Way of Words is based on the belief that we are all inherently creative and as unique individuals with a unique journey through this life we each have an inherent value and worth to bring to the page or stage. This belief is integral to all that we do and underpinned by our ethos; that we are all learning and growing and all have something to contribute, supported by our values; compassion, empathy, kindness, social justice, respect, responsibility, fully embracing diversity. These are reflected in our actions, decisions and behaviours in our work together and promoted in our work.
Workshops are open to all, unless otherwise specified, the only prerequisite being a willingness to write and a commitment to the group. The workshops and subsequent performance are strongly influenced in terms of methodology by The Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire and draw heavily on Julia Cameron’s The Artists Way and Natalie Goldberg’s work in particular Writing Down the Bones.
Founder, Anne Enith Cooper notes, we work in agreement with the writer Nicki Jackowska when she says, “In writing most deeply from myself, I tap all human sources. The problem is to get there, to touch oneself, track them and channel. The personal and the universal are most intimately interconnected… And in doing so, propels forces through and onto the page. This is always an act of faith – and an act of love whatever the subject.”
Workshops are held in a safe and supportive atmosphere with exercises designed to enable writers to express themselves more freely, to “get there.” Using the simple method – don’t think, just write – in response to a variety of prompts. This requires spontaneity and discipline, flexibility and focus, an openness to intuition and a readiness to put it to work.
It has proved a successful method and can be a journey of expression and discovery. In addition participants can learn performance skills for voice, body and breathe to give them the confidence to relate to an audience and be the best vehicle for their words.