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The Birth of and Backstory behind Heart on a Page

Why creative writing workshops that open up the heart are so dear to my heart

This month I launched a precious project of my heart… Heart on a Page: creative writing for connection and self-expression.

For much of my career I worked as a professional writer. Until as recently as last year, I spent my days crafting very specific pieces of writing that required significant attention to detail, precision and references to strategic plans and KPIs, all delivered within strict word counts and tight deadlines.

So naturally, in my writing workshops, I'm throwing all those requirements out the window! Heart on a Page encourages participants to write from their hearts: to create words, sentences, lines of poetry that flow onto the page without too much interference from our logical brains.

I'm not interested in your sentence structure or spelling. I'm interested in the YOU that emerges through your pen.

How writing became a healing balm for me

The healing and connecting power of writing became obvious to me during the harsh pandemic lockdowns in Melbourne. At that time I was living alone in a small, dark apartment that received little direct sunlight. I worked for a not-for-profit arts organisation that was busier than ever during COVID, but we weren’t considered essential workers, so suddenly we were confined to our homes and connecting with our colleagues through our laptops. At that time my life was not much bigger than the thick concrete walls of my apartment and work-from-home-loneliness-and-isolation. I caught up with friends, family and colleagues over Zoom or phone, but it wasn’t the same as hanging out in person, and without much direct human contact, my sense of wellbeing began to decline.

Like many people in Melbourne and around the world, I really suffered. My biggest worry was that my stories – the big ones, and the little ones (and who is a writer without their stories?!) – would be forever lost, that they would die without ever being heard by another human. I joined a few online writing workshops and these were absolute lifelines for me… and now it’s time for me to host sessions of my own.

An antidote to isolation

Heart on a Page workshops bring people together through shared stories. They’re an antidote to isolation and loneliness. In these workshops we will gather together in person to share the little stories and the big, in a flowing and connected environment. We will generously share our own writing and receive the writings of others in an environment designed for openness, connection and vulnerability. It’s the closest thing to writing as therapy without being actual therapy.

Your chance to put YOUR heart on the page

Heart on a Page will be a welcoming and non-judgmental space for connecting and communing with ourselves and others through the art of writing. Adults of all ages and writing abilities are welcome (as long as you are proficient in spoken English). We’ll start all activities from scratch, so there’s no need to bring any writing with you.

If this sounds exciting to you, put these details in your diary:

Tuesday 27 June, 6.30 - 8pm

Monbulk Living and Learning Centre

21 Main Street, Monbulk

(This is an accessible venue and a gorgeous space in the middle of the Yarra Ranges.)

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