The Solitude Workshops – Day 3


The Solitude Workshops ©

 Day 3 – 13th January 2016 

For all of us, striking a healthy balance between the demands of our everyday lives, alongside the need to withdraw, come to our senses and cultivate habits of solitude, are common experiences. Solitude and time to reflect feeds and nourishes our selves, our work and our sense of purpose. Most people crave more time and solitude for themselves and their creative work, but can’t see how they can make change happen and make it stick.

The Solitude Workshops are designed as a suite of 3 days of workshops: that is, a full day workshop, one per month for three months. The course is designed to support individuals to reflect on their own unique circumstances, patterns of behavior and process, with the ultimate aim of putting a workable plan in place, for lasting change.

Course materials draw on a range of sources in literature, meditation and creative practice.

The course is based on the belief that participants are inherently creative – it is designed to support people to ‘show up’ for their own creative work and make it happen. The course is structured in such a way as to enable participants to make a takeaway plan, to put in place in the intervening weeks, and to be supported to develop new work, in solitude – away from the attention and ‘busy-ness’ and demands of work and everyday life.

The course will encourage participants to focus on their own aspirations, beliefs, behaviours and patterns, with the explicit intention of developing supportive strategies for personal change.

The workshops are practical and experiential. Reflective practice time is programmed into Day 1 & 2 of the workshops. New work will be showcased on day 3.

Day 1: My creative life. Raising awareness of current patterns, Identifying desired changes and current blocks. Meet the saboteurs. ‘Show up’ for solitude – making a plan to work with.

Day 2. Agency & Authorship: Taking the reins of our own creative work. Creative process and flow; what counts? Review of the experiments; what worked? What didn’t? Planning for change.

Day 3: Low hanging fruit: Reflecting on change. What to stick with and what to ditch. Learning the lessons and celebrating: The ’what’s changed/ new work’ showcase.

Who is the course suited to?

The course is suited to anyone engaged in creative processes in their work or seeking to broaden their own creative approaches within their given field of work. The course is particularly suited to artists, writers, creative professionals and those in spiritual and healing practice, researchers, managers and supervisors.

Venue: TBC, Belfast area.

Dates:  Day 1 –11th November 2015

Day 2 – 9th December 2015

Day3 – 13th January 2016

Time: 10. 00 Am to 4.00 pm

Price: £225 (Concession = £150) for all three days.

Deposit: £75 secures a place (deposits are not refundable)

Application to:


About the facilitator

Maria McManus

Maria McManus is a poet and playwright. She has a substantial track record as an arts trainer and facilitator in creative writing, as well as in organisations. She has been a full-time professional writer since May 2012 after a career of 27 years in training, managerial and clinical healthcare roles. In 2012 she completed the International Organisations Systems Development programme of the Gestalt Institute, Cleveland Ohio.

Maria McManus

Her writing credits include, ‘The Moon. A Plane. A Crow’ (pending), which was written in homage to Georges Perec. Maria’s poetry collections are ‘We are Bone’ (Lagan Press 2013), The Cello Suites (Lagan Press 2009) – recorded with an original score composed and played by the cellist Tom Hughes. Reading the Dog (Lagan Press 2006) was runner up in the 2007 Strong Awards at the Poetry Now International Festival and was also short-listed for the 2007 Glen Dimplex New Writers Award. In 2008 & 2012 she was awarded an Arts Council individual artist award. In 2005 she was awarded the inaugural Bedell Scholarship for Literature and World Citizenship, by the Aspen Writers’ Foundation, Colorado USA.  In 2008 she co-wrote Bruised for Tinderbox Theatre Company. In 2006/07 she was playwright on attachment to Tinderbox. Previous theatre credits include His n Her’s and Nowhere Harder (2006) for Replay Theatre Company, and The Black-Out Show (2006) for Red Lead Arts. A screenplay adaptation of the sequence ‘Aill na Searrach; The Leap of the Foals’, was developed in 2013 with NI Screen.

Residencies include The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Inishlacken Project Connemara, Koldemo Sweden, Antibes, France, The Old Post Office, Clones Co. Monaghan. She has been selected to attend the WB Yeats Literary Residency 2015, in Tranas, Sweden.

6 thoughts on “The Solitude Workshops – Day 3

  1. Pingback: The Solitude Workshops | mariamcmanus

  2. Pingback: The Solitude Workshops | mariamcmanus

    • Hi Barbara

      Thanks for your interest and thanks for commenting. At the moment we are not forging ahead with an online plan for this workshop format but we can do 1:1 online mentoring. it would be interesting to find out more about the barriers you experience in coming to a course and also where your own interests lie.

      In relation to this specific programme, some elements of support which arise from participants can be done online, but we feel the initial groundwork needs to be done face to face. It’s the ultimate paradox that we are facilitating groups about supporting people to develop skills in solitude!

      We are building a movement of people who have capacity for the practice of solitude and somehow, it seems to make a difference to be part of a wider movement. It’s fun too.

      Keep in touch with your queries and thanks again for your interest.

      All the very best,


  3. Pingback: The Solitude Workshops – Day 2 coming up!!! | mariamcmanus

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