I wanted to share a few photos and reflections from September's writing workshop on Gylly Beach, hosted by Quiet Connections - another local community interest company who we collaborate with often. They focus on creating safe, gentle and friendly spaces for introverts and people who struggle with social anxiety. Having a creative activity that everyone is simultaneously working on can be a lovely way to connect with new people without feeling the pressure to make direct conversation or 'network' in an intense way. We also know how many of you love gathering at the beach as a calming space in a natural environment.
During the workshop, we spend some time gathered as a group and some moments spread across the beach landscape, each taking in and writing about our own specific view. I never push anyone to read out what they've written, but it's always such a privilege when writers do feel confident to share their work and several did in our session on the beach.
The 'gratitude letters to the beach' were particularly popular and brought up lots of emotions, as well as being beautiful to share out loud with each other in the location. We also had some insightful conversations about how we interact differently at the beach - most people felt a sense of safety which both allows vulnerability (especially when swimming!) and seems to encourage kindness and connection.
There was some wonderful feedback from the group, including:
"I have never done anything like this but it was actually exactly what I needed. The prompts were really thought-provoking and the combination of writing and discussion was really nice too."
"Thank you for a wonderful experience. I have always been a bit scared of writing since school but this has helped me by allowing me to explore my writing in a judgement-free space."
"It was so nice to just have the time to stop and breathe, and express through writing with like-minded people."
I'm really hopeful that we can host another workshop like this again before the winter rolls in, so keep an eye on both my social and the Quiet Connections website for updates. I'd love to see you at another beach writing session again soon!