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You Are The Author of Your Life – 18 August 2018

by on September 6, 2018


Life-Writing Workshop with Jilliana Ranicar-Breese


Jilliana held a workshop on autobiographical writing, which was attended by some members of the GRIT charity from Newhaven. The first exercise Juliana set was to write about a turning point in our lives, the second one a missed opportunity, or something we regretted in our life, and the third one was to write about a piece of music which was meaningful to us.

Despite there being a large group of people in attendance, some of whom had never been to the Hatchery Writers before, people courageously wrote about the triumphs and disasters of their lives, and bravely read out their writing to the group, sometimes through tears. I found this honesty and bravery extremely inspiring, and chose to share some things about my life which I haven’t shared with close friends.

I felt it was a cathartic and healing experience for many people, and a reminder that, despite our superficial differences, we are all strikingly similar beneath our masks, having common needs for love and connection to others, and similar pains and sorrows of rejection, betrayal and loss. It was a powerful example of how sharing our stories can unite us, when this is done in an atmosphere of trust and respect.

I felt that friendships could easily have sprung up between many of the participants, and I wonder what would happen if the same group of people were to meet to share their life stories on a regular basis. Sometimes we hide parts of ourselves from the people we feel closest to, for fear of being hurt, or not being accepted. It is sometimes easier to share these feelings with strangers, who do not know us, do not judge us, and place no expectations upon us. Perhaps the freedom to express ourselves honestly in a group which meets regularly would spill over into the rest of our lives, breaking down the barriers to communication which have formed with others. Words have incredible power to heal, to connect us to others, and to re-connect us to ourselves, when they come from the heart.

Tony Bell


I was very moved by the courage of those present, especially the younger ones, in being open about their lives and managing to read out their heartfelt contributions. Praise to Jilliana for choosing questions for the workshop that would bring out such responses and possibly lead on to further writing about their lives and experiences.

Crispin Ellison





From → Past Meetings

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