It's been about two months since I've blogged about this project. Initially, I just kept writing and researching, without any particular thread, and then came the building of themes. I realised that if I keep writing about the same 'themes', some of my work may sound the same. Then I got stuck with this huge mess of material. Am I writing about the same thing? Am I writing so many chapters and need some anchor to hold them together? I looked at other CNF books, they seem to have one unifying thread, a core. Mine is ... a little vague? I feel vague. I am stuck.
One of my colleagues from Jerwood Compton Fellowship, poet Jamie Hale, introduced me to Ruth of Spread the Word who kindly took the time to give me some advice about finding a thread, and how to make the chapters more coherent as a book. My friend and fellow poet, Alice Hiller, also sent me some tips on planning and starting a CNF (i.e. on title, structure, voice, etc.) Slowly, I began to see some similar themes in my chapters, and create a core that can bind my chapters together. I've changed my working title and continue to write from this new working title (a secret for now).
In other good news, I've also run my first workshop in partnership with the RCN Libraries where we look at writing empathy into our work. I am happy to know that this workshop encouraged healthcare workers to write and use creative writing to express themselves and explore their experiences. 79% rated it as excellent and 21% as good. Here are some of their comments:
Very good session with good participation from attendees - great to have a published writer and nurse
Excellent content and facilitation - wasn't too challenging! Liked that participants were not compelled to share their writing but were gently given the choice...Would be hugely appreciated if this taster session could be developed into an online course.
I would love to do another session like this. It was nice to do something with the RCN not "directly" nursing, but to use it as a time for well-being, to connect with other RCN members
Romalyn runs great sessions, this is the second of hers I’ve attended. I’m not a natural writer but the exercises really help me to unlock my creativity which can be so therapeutic.
These are really inspiring comments and now I know a little more about how I can shape my CNF into a more coherent book. It's time for me to do more crafting, so I'll end it here for now and hope to update you again on this project soon!