Dreaming in Wales

I’m a dreamer, I won’t deny it. I think dreaming is what initially led me to become a writer.

Dreaming has its downsides. For example, for the last three years I have been involved in a group which is around connecting writing for wellbeing practitioners in Wales. The group is called Lapidus Wales.

It has been an interesting journey. Back in 2018, when I first joined the group of volunteers looking to set this up, there was a lot of passion to make this group the best it could be. We were all dreamers.

The next few months were spent setting up a website, a twitter account, a facebook page, we had meetings, we discussed and shared, we tried to think what was best, we dreamed about what we would become. Here are some of the ideas we had:

  • Publishing company – online books about writing for wellbeing
  • forming a board of directors, applying for funding available only in Wales.
  • a provider of high-quality training for practitioners in Wales.
  • starting a charity to support those with poor mental health.

… then, one-by-one, the team dissolved. People stepped away for a number of reasons. They were too busy. They were moving away. They were this or that. The dreams never got realised. We ran a total of three events before there was no one left to do the work.

But, this weekend, I tried again. As the only remaining member of the team, I ran a little online networking event and invited people in Wales to turn up. There were seven of us there in total (which, for an online networking event, is actually a pretty great number to have!).

It was an eye-opening experience. I asked everyone there what they wanted. Here are some of the answers they provided:

  • I just want to connect with others.
  • I want a place to share and be heard.
  • I want to be able to ask questions to others in my field.

During the discussion, I brought up some of the old ideas and there were some nods and smiles, but I realised that I had been going about it all wrong.

The original team wanted to make things so complicated and amazing that we hadn’t thought about what people really wanted. Here was that answer. They wanted a stress-free place to connect with like-minded others. They didn’t want an online publishing company or a website or to set up a new charity – at least, not yet.

I’ve really learnt something this weekend. It’s great to dream and wonder, but sometimes you’ve just got to start small, and keep it simple. Don’t plan to sail the world when you don’t even have a raft!