This workshop, open to all who write for personal, professional, creative or organisational development, will build on the lively conversations held at the “Striking Moments” and “Inspiring Writing” collaborative workshops held in 2007 and 2008. It will continue our inquiry into our experiences of using writing to breathe life into organisational learning and change.

For more information, please open the pdf and the 'agenda', which is attached.

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A most constructive day beside the seaside, with 17 writers inspiring each other in discussions about writing in organisations.
At one extreme, we considered what happens when the mechanics of writing - pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard - are no longer necessary, replaced with instant speech-to-text computing.
Perhaps less contentiously, the impacts of new techologies that bring the arts of conversation and of writing into closer convergence.
Thanks for posting this note so quickly after the event, Paul. At the risk of adding something that may be too long for this particular medium, I'm posting verbatim the piece that I wrote in 15 minutes in the early afternoon session facilitated by Vicky (see below). I hope it might give people who weren't able to join us in Brighton a flavour of how it was - at least for me! Best wishes. Bob

*****

‘To write this piece, I felt the need to go out into the garden, pick up a chair, and place it in the shade under a fig tree in a secluded, shady place. For this exercise, I am determined to be antisocial! This is in contrast to the intense social engagement of the morning sessions. Despite the background murmur of private conversations scattered around the grass, I feel suitably solitary, and yet reassured by the non-intrusive presences in the background.

The Friends Meeting House in Brighton is a delightful venue for writers, especially on a cool, sunny day. I am struck by parallels with the Penn Club in Bloomsbury, where the AMED Writers’ Group holds its regular meetings, with Russell Square Gardens as an outdoor option in warm, dry weather. It makes me wonder whether there’s an important sub-text here about the significance of suitable writing spaces or scriptoria.

What strikes me from this morning is how readily everyone seems prepared to exchange ideas and experiences. Once the plenary session was over, I joined the group on future audiences convened by Amer. When we reached ‘morph’ or half time, none of us wanted to leave, and we were joined by Jeremy and Deborah to continue exploring the theme. It's encouraging to note that their fresh observations seemed to echo and reinforce our earlier conversations.

There are two of several other striking moments for me (there isn't time to notice or record all of them). One is the thought that, however uncomfortable it may be, we should be prepared to challenge our own received ideas about the continued privileging of extended writing over other forms of organisational communication. The other is that we should beware of holding unexamined sterotypes about the attitudes of ’younger generations’ of writers and readers. I surprised myself by expressing these observations spontaneously in conversation, as they weren’t premeditated, but rather, it seems, stimulated by preceding writings and conversations that we’d been exchanging earlier.

As I write this, I’m aware of birdsong, a smell of wild garlic, and a sense of peace and privilege. I also note how my writing is not continuous, but jumps about to follow thoughts that are racing far ahead of my ability to get the words out and down on the page. So I'm doing my best to acknowledge those thoughts in scribble, before returning to take up an earlier idea that my writing has noticed. By leaving strategic spaces on the page, I may be able to develop some of those ideas later.

Vicky has just invited me to stop, and I find myself quite reluctant to abandon my writing, because I am now in full flow. But abandon it I must.

One of the things that inspires me as a writer is the thought that, elegantly and thoughtfully contrived, it might just make a difference to the quality of my own and some other people’s thinking and actions. 'Vanity of vanity! All is vanity.’ - I might succeed in winning over an audience!’

Paul Z Jackson said:
A most constructive day beside the seaside, with 17 writers inspiring each other in discussions about writing in organisations.
At one extreme, we considered what happens when the mechanics of writing - pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard - are no longer necessary, replaced with instant speech-to-text computing.
Perhaps less contentiously, the impacts of new techologies that bring the arts of conversation and of writing into closer convergence.
Having spent a little time away from my previous posting, I'm moved to add that, for the sake of accuracy, my 'composition' was not entirely verbatim, because some of the words and phrases changed themselves in the process of transposition from handwritten manuscript to wordprocessed document! B
Sounds like a great day, Bob. Sorry I couldn't make it.

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