2016 Creative Groove

Title: Creative Groove
Who: Walter Mason
When: 6 x Sunday mornings: 13, 20 March; 3, 10, 17 April; 1 May, 10am—1pm
Cost: Full Price: $600; Member: $420; Conc Member: $360

A course in re-igniting your creative spark and learning to share your gifts with the world.

The time has come for you to start making your mark! So often we put off our creative work. We tell ourselves that when the time is right, and when we are inspired and informed, our writing will begin in earnest. But guess what? The clock is ticking. You don’t have time to wait for the stars to align. You need to awaken your creative spark now and get working in earnest. You need to get your creative groove back.

In this dynamic, experiential and mind-expanding course, writer, blogger and speaker Walter Mason will help you realise the possibilities of your creative energy.  Positivity, enthusiasm and the endless cultivation of ideas will all be encouraged as you explore from week to week just how alive you feel after you awaken your creativity and allow yourself to share your work with the world. Reading, writing, creative contemplation and imaginative daring will all be explored in this high-energy and results-focused course.

Week One – Making Your Mark

  1. Setting our intentions – after a short period of focused, silent attention, course participants will work on writing down their own intentions in coming.
  2. Establishing our writing goals – short term and long term
  3. 100 words about me – writing an inspiring bio and getting to know each other
  4. 20 Ideas a Day – getting the creativity habit
  5. The weekly writing plan
  6. 3 profound encounters – why getting out of the house gets you writing

Week Two – The Dynamic Creator

  1. Journals and diaries – some hints, methods, readings and exercises
  2. My favourites – filling your life with inspiration and working out what inspires you
  3. Creating your own Pillow Book
  4. Creating a platform – starting out being fabulous
  5. Ship it – why this is your year of finishing things
  6. Why should someone else be interested in you? – Determining your special interests, strengths and insights. How to extend your personal interests so they appeal to a wider audience.

Week Three – Forget About Your Fears

  1. Exploring what’s holding you back from writing, and writing about what stops us. What we don’t want to write about and the things that make us blush.
  2. Tallulah daahling – Why being outrageous and embracing fun will liberate your creativity. A case study of Tallulah Bankhead.
  3. Our Rosebud moment – “Citizen Kane” and exploring the objects of our childhood.
  4. The creativity checkup – instituting monthly, quarterly and annual examinations to make sure we are still stretching our creative boundaries and being the most amazing writers we can be.
  5. A creative geography – creating maps of places that inspire us.
  6. The importance and possibility of creation.

Week Four – Crystal Ball Time

  1. Technology, options and keeping your finger on the pulse
  2. Network, network, network
  3. The creative journey – a guided meditation
  4. Opening up – how we are enriched when we engage
  5. Cultivating play
  6. Creative reading – building a reading list that informs and challenges

Week Five – Lifelong Learning

  1. What skill are you committed to this year? – focusing on specialist knowledge
  2. Building a blog
  3. Forgetting the gatekeepers
  4. The real possibilities of writing study
  5. Learning about literature
  6. Keeping on top of literary trends

Week Six – Creating Supportive Networks

  1. Creating and sharing a writing schedule
  2. Online presence and support networks – sharing and shipping your work on the WWW
  3. Being on the lookout for opportunities – seeing creative possibilities in every situation
  4. Being a fan – the hidden energy in supporting others and being an advocate
  5. Broadening your possibilities – video, podcasting and the visual arts
  6. You got soul – writing with meaning and being a person of integrity and depth

Tea and coffee making facilities will be provided. Course participants are advised to bring their own lunch as there are no cafes within easy walking distance.

Student Requirements
Students are requested to purchase and read the following two texts, which will be used and referred to throughout the course:
“It Starts With Passion” by Keith Abraham
“Writing Open the Mind” by Andy Couturier

Additional texts which are not compulsory, but which will be extremely helpful and used as part of the course:
“Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers
The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon (any edition)
“The Right to Write” by Julia Cameron

About the tutor
Walter Mason
is an academic, blogger, speaker and writer.  He is part of the Writing & Society Research Group at the University of Western Sydney, where he is completing his doctoral thesis on the history of self-help books in Australia. Walter has spent long periods studying Buddhism and meditation in Asia and together with Stephanie Dowrick he runs the Universal Heart Book Club, an online book group that concentrates on matters of the spirit. He is the author of Destination Saigon (Allen & Unwin, 2010) and Destination Cambodia (Allen & Unwin, 2013). 

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