Not Enough Spoons: Writing About Disability and Chronic Illness with disabled writer, performer, and educator Angie River.
Six weeks: July 6, 2015 – August 16, 2015
In the disability community many people prescribe to the “spoon theory.” As a disabled person dealing with chronic pain and fatigue, I know that many days I don’t have enough “spoons” to do the things I need or want to do. I have found writing to be a very healing act for me, both in allowing myself to accept the feelings I’m having, but also to give words to the things going on in my body and mind, both for myself as well as for others wondering about why or how I’m sick. This class will investigate the healing aspects of writing for those with or who facilitate writing workshops for those with disability and chronic illness and will provide participants the opportunity to write and share their own narratives.
Week One will begin with an overview of chronic illness and disability and how creative writing can add to our personal understanding and healing.
Week Two and Three will look at the ways that the practice of writing can help us deal with and manage illness and disability.
Week Four will discuss ways we can use writing to broaden awareness about disability and chronic illness.
Week Five will investigate systems of self-care and how we can integrate writing and creativity into our self-care routines.
Week Six will look at ways we can access our creative outlets when we are out of spoons or aren’t otherwise able to do writing in the ways we would most like to.
Format: This is an online class. Each week will include various texts to help us explore disability and creative modalities that can help us deal with and manage chronic illness and disability. Each week will also include discussions of the readings and our personal experiences, as well as creative writing prompts. Students should plan to spend 3-4 hours per week on the class. However, because our spoons vary day to day, the class will be formatted in a way that is flexible for working when you can and resting when you need.
Who Should Take This Class: Anyone with disability or chronic illness who is interested in exploring this more though writing, as well as those who facilitate workshops for people living with disability or chronic illness. All attempts will be made to make this course as accessible as possible to those participating; if you have specific accessibility needs please contact the facilitator.
Facilitator Bio: Angie River is an educator, activist, and performance artist. She also has chronic migraines, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, PTSD, and a handful of other things which impact the ways in which she moves through the world. Angie has discovered that writing helps her to process the things her body is doing and the emotions she experiences. She is currently in the process of writing a series of poems based on her medical bills, as well as taking a series of chronic illness self-portraits. She will be presenting in June at The Body Love Conference in Tucson, Arizona on the power of telling our stories, as well as on disability and performance.