Writing Wellness Workshops
(for schools & universities)
For many students, scholars, and academics, the writing process is filled with anxiety, even to the point of affecting mental and physical health. In this workshop, we will discuss techniques for transforming your writing practice from anxiety, writer’s block, and self-doubt into a creative process that is empowering, nourishing, and even healing of your creative power. The writing theory taught is trauma-informed and draws on Dr. George's research on the history of feminist ethnic studies writing practices and psychosocial theory, as well as the role of contemplative epistemologies in creative thought.
Who This Workshop is for:
Upper-division high school students, graduate students, scholars, and anyone committed to creating a more meaningful, joyful writing practice.
The workshop invites you to re-envision your writing practice through methods that help you move from anxiety to creative flow. Using landmark texts in the history of feminist and ethnic studies writing, we will discuss practices that challenge typical institutionalization of writing practices.
1. Re-connect your mind and your body:
Anxiety when we write causes us to spin or hover above our body and disconnect; anxiety can also lead to avoiding one's writing (and for some, staying up all night in a manic state to meet deadlines!). Supportive writing practices help us re-ground in our senses, nurture our bodies, and breathe more deeply. The goal is to move through writer's procrastination into a creative flow that is not fueled by adrenaline or deadline panic, but rather by the joy of understanding your own creative process. Connecting and listening to your body is a foundational method to this approach. Black feminist and Chicana texts will guide our explorations of the value of mind-body connection and epistemic liberation in our work as writers and scholars.
2. Remember your primary source(s) of fuel:
Your creative fuel is ultimately about who you are in this world, and why you do what you do. Oftentimes we get in the habit of writing for approval, and while needing approval is a reality of professional and graduate student life, writing for approval cannot ultimately be our emotional centering point, either. Our creative fuel must be internally and relationally motivated: it is where our identity and core life values line up with how we wish to contribute to this world in need. Indigenous and transnational feminist texts will guide our exploration of being rooted within our own ancestral inheritances, knowledges, and identities.
3. Know your different writing toolkits:
The toolkit needed in the drafting process is very different from the toolkit needed in the editing process. Confusing these toolkits creates anxiety in our writing. We will discuss how to locate yourself in the various stages of the creative process—including the distinct flow between drafting, contemplative movement/ritual, and revising/editing. You will learn techniques to support each stage of the evolution of an idea.
Kimberly B. George, Ph.D., is a scholar in the fields of feminist studies and ethnic studies, with additional graduate training in religious history and relational psychodynamic theory.
She is the founder of Feminism School, which seeks to open the enclosures of academia through offering feminist ethnic studies classes to mental health practitioners, K-12 teachers, religious leaders, activists, and nonprofit sectors. Her courses have been taken by people in 10 countries.
Her academic research focuses on psychosocial theory, contemplative pedagogies, and feminist ethnic studies writing practices. She has been a writing coach for 20 years.
Read about her approach to writing practices in her Syndicate review of Living a Feminist Life
"Sara Ahmed’s latest work, Living a Feminist Life, dismantles the false divide between academic theory and the embodied world in which our concepts come alive... It is an intervention not only in academic feminism, but also an invitation to rethink (and, indeed, re-feel and re-sense) the writing and reading practices we are relying upon to translate the sensuality of life into the conceptual structures of language."