The Story of Me and You – A Creative Writing Course for Mothers
by Write Sparks’ Sarah Parrott
The best thing about writing an article for The Mum Poem Press is that I know, without any question, that when I tell you that writing has saved me this year, you’ll all understand.
There’s no need for me to explain why I think writing is magic, because you’re all members of the Magic Circle too! We’re writing women and we get it. And isn’t that the glorious thing about the Mum Poet Club?!
I was thrilled when Katharine asked me to tell you a little about my online creative writing course for mums. And in fact, that’s how we first met! Katharine was one of the first writers to take my course, over a year ago now. I know this won’t surprise you at all, but she created some incredible pieces, one of which was chosen to feature in the anthology Night Feeds and Morning Songs, alongside poems from some of our shared heroes; Nikita Gill, Carol Ann Duffy and even Sylvia Plath!
Lots of the wonderful writers in the Mum Poet Club have taken my course and I’ve had the loveliest feedback from you, thank you! If you haven’t yet given it a try, I’d like to tell you a bit more about it.
My course is called The Story of Me and You - and it does what it says on the tin!
By the end of the six modules you’ll have a collection of at least 12 pieces of writing to help tell the story of your motherhood journey; the story of you and your child.
Throughout the course we cover poetry, fiction, memoir writing and more, but for each module there’s always scope for you to interpret the task in whichever way suits your style best and often my writers tell me that they’ve been inspired to experiment with new forms or perspectives.
I’ll help you to create a book of writing to save for your children when they grow up, or just to capture the memories of this ridiculous, ‘unprecedented’ time for yourself.
Throughout our IVF, a complicated pregnancy and the fairly turbulent early years with Joel’s complex medical needs, it was my little book of writing (and an unholy number of bourbon biscuits) that kept me sane. The book was a bargain purchase, but now it’s one of the most valuable things I own; filled with writing for Joel, for me to give to him when he grows up or if he chooses to have children of his own. A future family heirloom!
I started by writing about my experience of the IVF process, more for myself than for anyone else, but it soon became a book filled with letters, lists, poems, emotional rants, photos, sketches (of very poor quality) and stories for my growing boy.
I loved the idea of compiling a book for him, but I knew it would also help me to remember the emotions and experiences that otherwise I’d soon forget, once the reality of parenting took over. This book kept me calm, gave me the creative outlet I craved during maternity leave and forced me to take some time for myself.
During these wild toddler years, I’ve found less time to write, but feel like I have more to say when I do. Sometimes it takes a while to get going and other times it all just falls out of my head onto the paper, shapeless and scribbled frenetically.
The aim of The Story of Me and You is to help you create a book of your own, for your kids.
As an experienced teacher and writing specialist, I’ll guide you through the process step-by-step. I’ll give you tasks and inspiration to structure your book, using different forms of writing, and encourage you to find your own way to express your thoughts.
You don’t need to have any formal experience of writing to join us, and you won’t need to commit to a schedule. Once you’ve signed up, you have access to the whole course immediately. You can enjoy it at your own pace, at anytime of day or night, with no need to be online at a particular time.
Most of my book was tapped into my iPhone notes in the early hours of the morning, then written up in 45-second increments during feeds or fleeting nap times!
We’ve had mums with children of all ages on the course and it’s open to absolutely anyone who would like to write about their own experiences of parenting.
If you’d like to give it a go, there are two options. You can sign up for just the online course, or you can treat yourself to my The Story of Me and You package, which also includes a really beautiful hardback, fabric-covered journal in a keepsake box, both with gorgeous gold foil titles.
Those of you who know me know that I’m a pain-in-the-arse perfectionist, so you can imagine how long I took making sure that the book and box were just right!!
Finally, subsidised places are always available to anyone who needs them, without any prerequisites.
My DMs and email are open for any questions you might have about the course, subsidised places, or indeed bourbon biscuits.
The Story of Me and You package: https://www.writesparks.co.uk/story-of-me-and-you-shop/