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Lapidus News

Words, wellness and writing!

Welcome to our new co-chairs!

As Dr. Kim Etherington and Dr. Jeannie Wright step down from their tenure as co-chairs of Lapidus International, I just want to say thank you for the work they have done. It has been a busy few months and Kim and Jeannie have been a driving force to keep Lapidus going and growing in this period. They have juggled responsibilities with LIRIC and the Lapidus board, they have furthered the exploration of how Lapidus can be more inclusive and diverse, they have helped the board grow bigger and they have never lost enthusiasm. A big thank you to them and I look forward to working with them more as they step back into their previous roles on the board as Director of Research and Secretary. 

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Are you really a 'Multimedia Artist'?

Barbara Bloomfield, ex-Chair of Lapidus International, considers the changing landscape of creative practices.

The musician and artist, Laurie Anderson, suggests that all creatives should describe themselves as ‘multimedia artists’ because no-one knows what the hell it means.  She wrote: “It’s so vague. No one can say, ‘Hey, how come you’re a jazz person, and you’re making a pop opera?

“Genres are for bins. ‘What bin should we put you in, so we that we can sell what you do?’ Ignore the bins.”

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A New Magazine for Lapidus International

The Lapidus International Journal is being revived and revamped this year. It will be published online in a magazine format offering a platform for Lapidus members and others, working in, and curious about, the world of writing for wellbeing. It will be a place to share ideas, challenges and successes. There will be a Creative Space for original creative writing from our members and a Breathing Space for all things wellbeing. We’ll bring news to you from the regions and other Lapidus members around the world. A redesign will bring in more photographs and illustrations to create a fresh and visually appealing publication.

A first edition is planned for Autumn/Winter 2021.

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Call for Collaborative Voices - Developing Lapidus’ Ethics Guidance

Sue Spencer & Kate Mattacks are currently writing new ethics guidance to be approved by the Board soon.  We aim to create a more welcoming space for new and experienced practitioners to find guidance on a range of ethical issues relating to how to prepare for practice, working in settings, links to further advice and CPD training, issues arising from COVID-19 pandemic work and a FAQ section. Having worked in a variety of settings, from hospitals, prisons, universities, and other communities we’ve gained insight into the ethical queries and questions we might face as writing for wellbeing facilitators but would like to ask for members’ collective help. 

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Here's Why BAME is A No Go Term for Minority Ethnic (ME) Communities

Since the Black Lives Matter movement drew us closer to the reality of racism in the world today, the term ‘BAME’, meaning ‘Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic’ has been bandied about everywhere.

I don’t do ‘BAME’. I don’t like the term that is. I am BAME, according to someone who made up the acronym. But do I want to be? Why should I? Do you like being called ‘White’? Black? Asian? And having that pointed out on forms, in funding calls and in research?

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Top tips for running a writing group

Thinking of running a writing group? Already organise workshops but want to enhance them? Here are a few top tips from our community.

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The Importance of Nature Time

 

*Look up*

A few years ago, on a trip to London, I met a woman named Clare. She runs a project called Urban Curiosity. We ordered lattes and deliciously buttery breakfast treats, and I asked her, “What’s this project all about?”

It’s pretty simple. Mainly, she leads people on walking tours throughout the city of London. People wander through different neighborhoods, and through beautiful green parks, noticing the trees, noticing the sky, the clouds, the pets, the people. The only rule is that you have to put away your phone. No photos. No videos. No texting. Just walk.

“I want to inspire people to look up, not down,” Clare told me.

I remember feeling a rush of energy in my body, almost like my skin was tingling, when Clare said those words. I remember thinking, Yes. Yes. A thousand times, yes.

I watched a short film about a man who set up a high-powered telescope on a random sidewalk in Los Angeles and invited strangers to peek inside and look at the moon. It’s incredible how each person—all ages, all kinds of people—react in the same way. “Oh my god. Wow. Just…oh my God.” The filmmaker concludes this tiny, 3-minute film by saying:

“We should look up more often.”

Imagine if we looked up into the sky, and into people’s eyes, as often as we look down at our phones. Imagine the difference it would make. We would all walk around shimmering, awestruck, grateful, just one big collective WOW.

At least once a week, I have one of those weary, frazzled moments when my to-do list feels never-ending…when my inbox feels frighteningly full…when the quarterly reports come in and the book sales aren’t as high as I thought they would be…when I feel very small and very insignificant. Those are the moments when I feel tempted to dive into a digital device to escape and numb out. Instead, next time, I will try to remind myself:

Look up.

The answer I’m seeking is not down on my laptop screen, or my phone. It’s up. It’s out there. It’s above and beyond. In the trees, the sky, and the stars.

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COVID19 : MESSAGE FROM LAPIDUS INTERNATIONAL

On behalf of the Lapidus Board, and all our colleagues, we would like to wish our members and their families a safe and healthy passage through the coming months. Though Covid19 is putting so many strains on our lives, it is now, more than ever, essential that we share and connect. 
 
Lapidus will be offering online opportunities to do just that over the spring and summer as we work up online courses to share with you. Any meetings planned in person have been postponed but we will continue to support our members by offering creative ideas for wellness via our Facebook pages (Lapidus Members and Lapidus International) and our website, www.lapidus.org.uk.
 
We encourage each of you to take the time to write a record of your experiences of this unique historical moment. 
 
With best wishes,
 
The Lapidus International Board
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Greta Solomon - Writing coach & author

How did you come to writing for wellbeing?

I have been writing and journaling all my life. Early on, I realised the power in putting things into words, and writing helped me to heal when my mother committed suicide. When I left my second staff journalism job to go freelance in 2001, I used journaling, along with studying lyric writing and acting, to unblock myself creatively. Later, I trained in life coaching and teaching and set up a successful English tutoring practice. Through this, I discovered that I had a talent for helping people to overcome the fears, blocks and shame that can stop them from fully-expressing themselves in writing.

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“To the 18-year-old kid I stopped on SR10”

 “To the 18-year-old kid I stopped on SR10”

That’s the start of an open letter written by a police officer in North Ridgeville, Ohio a few months ago. The short missive, which directly addresses a young man caught doing 100 mph in a 65-mph zone, is an interesting example of expressive writing in letter form. The officer describes the speeder’s reaction when he was stopped; expresses anger at his disregard for the possible consequences of his driving; talks about past experiences with fatal crashes involving young people who were going too fast; and relates his own feelings about having issued the speeding ticket.

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Balens Insurance for Lapidus International

Great news! Lapidus International has managed to arrange a deal with Balens to insure your work as practitioners in writing for wellbeing. This insurance will give you peace of mind if you are running writing groups or selling your services as it covers three areas:

* Professional Insurance. This covers alleged malpractice, such as a complaint about your practice and where there may have been a breach of your professional duties.

* Public liability. This covers accidental injuries to third parties, and third party damages.

* Product liability. This covers accidental injury to third parties caused by your products. This category may not seem that relevant for us, but in cases where members combine writing with other activities this may be very useful.

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From The Desk - A Spooky October Update

Every month, Richard, the Lapidus International Coordinator, is going to write a ‘From The Desk’ article to give an update of the day-to-day activity that goes on in the Lapidus International Office. This is the very first one of those updates and it's extra spooky!

 

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@BRoymacauley Roymacauley
Looking forward to writing a few spooky lines. It is not too late with the dark late evenings coming. See you at the AGM bARBARA... Read More
Monday, 05 November 2018 11:30
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The Power of Re-Writing Your Life

This weekend, a good friend of mine attended the first-ever Stockholm Writers Festival, where Jessica Lourey was a guest speaker. Ms. Lourey, an author and writing facilitator, has a moving story about the role of stories in her life – specifically, how re-writing your most difficult moments can bring a new perspective, closure, and freedom.

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Perfectionism

I’m a notebook freak.

I buy them whenever I come across them. Spiral-bound or stapled; hardcover or soft; all sizes, shapes, and colors; extra points if the cover makes me laugh. I prefer them with lines: pale blue tracks that route my train of thought, long corridors where my words run like the bulls in Spain: coursing, angular, driven.

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