Since that first Freefall seminar I’ve been writing one or two books a year and have found myself at this giddy point of going from being a long shot to having a shot.
Charles Atkins, M.D, Author of the Barret Conyors Foresnic Psychiatry Series (Llewellyn and Severn House), Cadaver’s Ball (St Martins Press/Minotaur), and the Lil and Ada Mystery Series (Severn House)
What I’d really like is to say, in person, is how much I appreciated your gentle, persuasive and warm facilitation. If we were in the same room, or in the same forest, I’d also explain that I am usually a bit slow to warm, slow to trust, and that you earned my trust so quickly, both with your care and attention to my writing, and your care and attention to the group and the group dynamics. I’m particularly grateful for the gentle persuasion to move from autobiography to fiction.
Lovely to consistently write for those few days. You have such a lovely way and a direct way of saying, showing and guiding the way forward. It makes me think of wandering on a mountain side, hearing your whistle and finding the path again.
On the zoom part … Great to see that work so well.
And … because I admire this so much in you and it just comes out of you so naturally … please keep that talent going. I love seeing that in people (I believe everyone has a unique talent). I see this in you so strongly. You are such a good example. You follow your skill and craft and offer it all to us with generosity, care and determination. Thank you.
Freefall is a technique you use to get the thinking mind to step aside so you can write from a place that is beyond the reach of your ego and its censors.
During the six-day zoom workshop, you get written feedback from Barbara about your morning writing. In the afternoons, a selection of the writers’ work is read out and discussed by a group of up to 12 writers. The written feedback I get from Barbara shows me where I’m heading in the right direction and where my writing could do with more work. Getting such immediate feedback from a group of writers has also shown me my work in a completely different light. Each writer has their take on it, and it’s invaluable to get this level of perspective in the early stages of my work.
Another benefit of this workshop format is having someone else read out my writing. It’s a third way of experiencing the written word that leaves me free from what is written on the page to focus my attention on:
– the rhythm of my writing
– how natural the dialogue sounds
– what my writing voice sounds like
– the pacing
– any boring bits
– whether the words and sentences from flow naturally from one to another
This triple-sided workshopping style, with feedback in such a short period, shows me clearly what is working and what is not in the early stages of my work, and is excellent value for money.
One of the most fantastic experiences I have ever had.
John Strauss, M.D. Professor of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine
This has been a wonderful experience. I think it may have changed my life.
Maureen Smith, former director, University of Western Australia School of Extension.