Goosebumps are a sign of good writing, says Jo Parfitt

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Picture: Roberto Gomez Getty Images

“When I get goosebumps, it’s a sign of great writing.” So says Jo Parfitt, the inspiring tutor for our Write Your Life Stories weeks at the Watermill.

Jo says: “Now and again my students write something that upsets them and moves those who hear it during the feedback sessions. Of course, it can make us cry to remember painful events that we are now reliving by writing them down. But I think that is good.”

That is where those goosebumps come in: when we re-live those painful events, emotions often bubble up and scare us, even makes us cry. Jo says: “Our tears make us doubt whether our words are appropriate, whether they are that bit too real, too authentic, too revealing. When this happens, it can lead us to censor our words, hold back and protect ourselves.  I know, it happens to me too. Only I welcome those moments.”

After more than 20 years as a writer and teacher of writing, Jo knows that authentic, painful and real recording of past events produces writing that resonates with other people. That’s why she encourages her students to write from the heart: “ To write material that makes them sad, allowing them to feel the pain all over again as they write it, again when they recite it in class and again every time they dare to share it… Not only is emotion cathartic but writing material that is raw and natural has a much better chance of touching the listener or the reader.”

Jo adds: “Next time you baulk at the thought of exposing yourself and writing stuff that is too deep or too strong, ignore that inner critic and do it anyway. I think you will find you just wrote your best work.”

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
He knew what he was talking about.

You can learn to create goosebump-making writing in the secure and sympathetic surroundings of the Watermill. Jo’s latest Write Your Life Stories course here is from  Saturday 9 May to Saturday 16 May 2020. You can learn more by clicking here. But we have only one place left on Jo’s course this year, so now is the the time to grab it and make a start on becoming an even better writer.

Of course, there are not only tears, but much laughter, too, as our participants enjoy the warm camaraderie of like-minded people. Below are some members of Jo’s writing group last year sharing snippets from their lives. One of the group, Sue Reed, tells us: “The vine verandah at The Watermill has been the perfect place to gather to write and share our stories. Last night we all shared a funny story, and the laughter rang out. My life feels so much richer for having met and shared stories with these wonderful people.”

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Laughter on the vine verandah
The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Jo Parfitt is an author, journalist, teacher, blogger, conference speaker and poet. She has published 32 books herself, has helped more than 100 authors into print and more than 1,000 people to begin writing. Jo’s a compassionate, inspiring, and encouraging teacher: her motto is ‘sharing what I know to help others to grow’. The workshop will include several methods and genres and is perfect for anyone wanting to write about their own lives for an effective journal, memoir or blog. If you would enjoy an injection of inspiration in a safe and supportive environment this course is for you. It is appropriate for students of any level.

Everything is included in the cost of your holiday at the watermill: tuition, accommodation (including all linen and towels), pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals and wines (including outings to charming local restaurants) and all local transportation (including transfers to Pisa airport and an excursion by train to Lucca or the Cinque Terre). You get to Pisa, Italy, we do the rest!

Jo Parfitt

Jo Parfitt
2 – 9 May 2020 – one place left
Write the stories of your life
To learn more about Jo and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.

Please Comment

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.