Something about writing down my relentlessly swirling thoughts has always been a way for me to process this complicated and beautiful life. As a child I wrote stories and poems and when I picked up a guitar in my teens, these became songs. I pursued a career as a singer songwriter for many years which led me through a world of record contracts, publishing deals and the grand machine we call the music business. For ten years I lived in Nashville, Tennessee and enjoyed the camaraderie and support of a creative community. I also experienced the harsh reality of a market driven business whose frenetic pulse often overshadows and silences original voices. After years of writing songs for myself and others, I moved with my husband to Portland, Oregon where I stepped back from the music world to raise our two red headed kiddos.
In 2017 I was introduced to the AWA method and through many retreats and workshops rekindled my love for writing of all genres in addition to music. I recognized parts of my own voice that I had lost along the way and in this process of recovery, noticed a desire to help others do the same. I began leading my own workshops and have never looked back! I am passionate about providing a safe space set apart for our creative selves, away from commerce and critique. These workshops are not therapy, but I think you will find them immensely therapeutic. I love how Sue Monk Kidd recently put it when asked about writing memoir:
"The process not only takes me into myself, it frees me from myself. When I manage to distill my experience into meaning and integrate that meaning into my life through the creation of a narrative, I make it possible to move on without all the preoccupation and unconscious pull of the experience. It’s the unexamined experience that wreaks the most havoc in my life and in my relationships."
I believe writing in community is powerful, whether you write songs, memoir, fiction or any other genre, there is space for you here. With the AWA method as our foundation, my hope is that through these workshops we can all find a shelter in each other. A space to freely process, grow in confidence and empathy, and become better writers.
Alli Rogers Dahlgren is an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone and With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.
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