I spent 2.5 hours yesterday going through the attendees’ feedback from Inspiring the Muse. While I was happy to see everyone got a lot out of it, I believe there’s a lot of room for improvement, both in the content and as I learn to develop my speaking style. Mainly, I think I’m going to break apart the journalling and the creative storytelling parts so that they are featured as their own separate classes. Putting them together, while a good compliment, is just something that overwhelms beginning students in an hour or 90 minute time limit. Breaking up the two parts also gives me the flexibility to give attendees more time to spend doing the work, which consists of writing down their thoughts.
Usually when I teach this class, I have a whole morning (2 hours or more), or a whole day (up to 8 hours), to carefully go through the material. My students are given ample time to dive deep into each exercise and properly share and provide feedback on each other’s ideas. Going into PantheaCon, I thought that if I went over both parts of this course, and gave them less time to write, that it would also give them less time to putter around or feel “stuck” in their heads. I like quick brainstorm ideas because the inner editor does not have time to pipe up and spew the negative vitriol that tells us we can’t do something. This quick-fire brainstorm technique primes the pump and shows students how creative they can be in short amounts of time.
I hope that students of this course went home to experiment with what I gave them in longer spurts. If you’re an alumni of Inspiring the Muse and have done the exercises in your own time, please share. I’m always interested in hearing feedback.