Writing Workshop To Awaken the Senses

I’m glad to say that he writing workshop express is still chugging along, but it’ll be going at a gentler pace this week. I’ll be taking older people on a journey through the senses this Wednesday at Ardkeen Library in Waterford City. It’s a two-hour workshop being run as part of Positive Ageing Week. During the workshop, we’ll do activities to tap into the senses, which can open the door to powerful memories. People will discover that these memories can be turned into powerful stories, which act as a record of their lives.

Telling Life Stories

First, we’ll awaken the sense of touch. People will tell the life stories of unusual objects, some beautiful, some quirky. They’ll pick up the object, examine it, and let their minds wander, as they think of how it came into being, and what adventures it had before it came to this library. Participants will then feast their eyes on some beautiful pictures of places around the world and use those to trigger memories of wonderful holidays or days out that they’ve had.

A Feast for the Senses

I’ve written before on this blog that the orange is a demanding fruit. They work all of your senses, so they form a great foundation for writing activities. People will eat an orange and describe the experience, how it looked, felt, tasted, smelt and sounded. Then they will share a food related memory, which could centre on oranges themselves, or on a meal that was memorable for the right or wrong reasons.

Oranges
Oranges tap into all five of your senses – great for writing.

The Power of Sound

Sound can be an overlooked sense, so as we come to the end of the workshop, we’ll tune into the things that make up the soundtrack of our lives. Participants will write down their five favourite sounds, and one that grates on them. I’ll then play a piece of music and people will come up with five words to describe it. They’ll then describe a memory based on a favourite piece of music.

What do you do to awaken your senses in your writing? If you teach creative writing, do you do any exercises with your workshop groups based on the senses?

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