(I’m away from the computer for about a week, so I’m sharing some posts I wrote a couple of years ago after my interview with Britt Bravo and the Arts and Healing network, about the writing workshops and writing as a transformative process. – xox! Jen)
The second question on the list:
2. On your site, you describe [your workshops] as “transformative writing” workshops. How are they transformative?
Transformative writing is writing that changes you in the process of its creation. A dictionary gives one definition of transform as “to change completely for the better.” Another definition: “to convert one form of energy to another.”
And for the word transformation one of the definitions is: a complete change, usually into something with an improved appearance or usefulness.” Another? “A sudden changing of a stage set that takes place in sight of the audience.” Yes – that’s what we’re talking about here.
(In looking these up, I’ve just learned that there’s such a thing as transformational grammar, a phrase I find extremely exciting but which I’m not (necessarily! I can’t actually say for sure) talking about here).
Writing that’s transformative is writing that surprises the writer as it’s emerging, either with respect to form, content, structure, or some other element. It’s writing through which the writer maybe learns something about hirself* on the other end (even if the writing is fiction—that teaches us about our capacity as writers/artists). In my experience, there’s much writing that’s transformative – freewriting as a method works well for me, when I can let the writing come, can get the editor out of the way and discover after I’m done what it was that I was trying to say.