Chuchotements d’éveil: A writing workshop like no other

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Posted on 
May 27, 2019

As a secretariat officer with the provincial public service for over 30 years, I’m passionate about personal growth, and I like to inspire people on their journey to enhanced well-being. Committed to honouring the French language and to adding a little more soul to creative writing, I enjoy prose and its many whimsical aspects. I love the French language for its sound, its rich vocabulary, its charming subtleties. In fact, words are my friends. Friends that help me to grow stronger and to follow my inner path. It’s also important to me to pass on my values, to use words that are positive and that, more importantly, spur my journey toward self-fulfillment. My role now as the moderator of a writing game is to pass on the torch … to word lovers!

From mishap to adventure

In January 2008, a mishap (I had severely fractured my ankle) started me on an incredible adventure. As I was bedridden and then in recovery for many months, I looked for a game to keep my mind occupied. An idea suddenly came to me: select positive and meaningful words from the dictionary, rewrite them on small cards, pick some every day and use them as inspiration to write. As I focused on using a limited number of positive words to compose my writings, a suggestive force awakened within me, pushing my talent to new heights. This exercise reinforced in me the joy of writing, and I marvelled at it. It became a challenge that I vowed to take up…

For many years, I enjoyed this self-imposed discipline of using only 11 words to tell little stories. Every morning, I embraced my moods and whims. I even included a short quote with each of my texts, to increase my readers’ enjoyment. And so, every day I looked forward to discovering the message that was meant for me.

As a bonus, a few lines drafted from randomly placed words would reveal the distilled essence of an emotion! To this day, the challenge has been not only to write a short and interesting text, but also to give it a theme I can embellish with lovely thoughts. In five lines or less, the writing exercise also makes me structure my thoughts and capture the essence of my ideas. Unknowingly and paradoxically, through the constraints of this writing game I was gently guided toward freedom: the “Chuchotements d’éveil” adventure was launched. From a simple dream to a source of joy through self-expression, this repeated writing exercise ignited real creative sparks in me.

Ten years later

First published as a personal blog, my writing workshop now resides in a forum. Ten years after its creation, it lives happily on, and my pen hasn’t run out of ink! I now share with others this passion for writing that is creative, but more importantly, positive, inspiring and nurturing, bringing rays of hope and light. As a word lover, I have written texts that have become, little by little, travelling companions on the journey of life.

Expressing my values, hopes and thoughts in this way has given me more faith in my abilities. My self-esteem and confidence have increased, and I find that I’m more comfortable with my writing. As I listen to what spontaneously flows out of my heart, I am deeply grateful for this gift of creative and inspired writing.

When I reread the texts I have written, I’m always amazed at how inspiring and timely these messages proved to be. But most of all, I’m amazed at how they paved the way for my next adventure: promoting my online writing workshops (in French only). I humbly believe that my mission is accomplished! Every Saturday now, new imposed words are waiting to be tamed, conquered and reworked. Thanks to my game, many participants from all walks of life (students, retirees, francization students, etc.) can have fun creating, can live the experience for themselves and share it with others, too!

Translated by Line Lalande, Language Portal of Canada

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The opinions expressed in posts and comments published on the Our Languages blog are solely those of the authors and commenters and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Language Portal of Canada.

About the author

Nathalie Rondeau

As a secretariat officer in the provincial public service for over 30 years, Nathalie Rondeau is passionate about personal growth and likes to inspire people on their journey to enhanced well-being. Committed to honouring the French language and to adding a little more soul to creative writing, she has for several years been a volunteer writer for the Mouvement santé mentale Québec blog, a partner with the Office québécois de la langue française for Francofête and the moderator of an online writing workshop.

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