For the past seven years, I’ve had a file dedicated to a series of writing workshops that I’ve dreamt of facilitating. The first workshop in the series is a prompt-based generative writing event called Leap! The idea is to do a series of timed prompts with a focus on creating new ideas and rough starts of works during the session. For the next workshop, each participant would pull together a more focused piece and create a first real working draft. That draft would be submitted and the week after that, we would workshop. The series, or rather the idea for the series, went on from there.
Early on, I got as far as setting up an online classroom and getting feedback on the syllabus from several of my friends. And then something — I don’t remember what exactly but likely a series of somethings minor now but difficult to navigate at the time — something happened. And while I could never bring myself to delete that file, neither had I moved forward with it.
Until this year.
In early March of 2021, I ran Leap! for the first time. The participants were a group of friends volunteering to help me test out the event. The plan was to fine-tune it after that and offer it as the final product of an online course called Collector to Creator. That meant running the event for the Ness Labs community. Leap! seemed like a perfect fit for the course and the community.
Preparing for that first session was a delight. I spent days collecting photos, gifs, videos, music, story clips, random subject creators, and compiling all of those into one Wheel o’ Prompts. I built a prompt website to house it all for easier access. When the day arrived, I had everything ready to go.
The test participants spanned my personal history, with someone from junior high, two friends from two of the colleges I attended, and a previous co-worker from my current job. I couldn’t have asked for a better crew. The hour flew by and all the participants said they would 100% attend again. Even the cheesy music I used to signify a prompt didn’t run people off! It was, in short, a success.
Everything was ready to go. I was ready to repeat the experience for the fine folks at Ness Labs. And then, two weeks after running the trial session, the big day finally arrived. My seven-year-old idea would finally be made real out in a larger community.
And I could not have been more…exhausted.
[Part two will be posted next week!]