Creating a Space: Preparing for a Writer's Workshop, Part Two

Wallace Stegner once said that you can’t teach writing but you can awaken it.  That’s what I hope for in the class I will teach next Monday.  We begin with creating space and thinking about the environment, both of the physical space and the social, emotional, and spiritual safety within that place. To teach is to create an accountable and hospitable community.

Peter Block, Community:  The Structure of Belonging, describes six conditions which create conversations that build community:

  • invitation
  • possibility
  • ownership
  • dissent
  • commitment
  • gifts

Block’s description of how to create community applies as much to teaching writing and managing an organization’s team as it has to its intended purpose of improving community development processes.  I will illustrate more of these applications tomorrow.

Shirley Showalter

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