In our division at KTH, Media Technology and Interaction Design, we have a nice tradition of going away for a few days to focus on writing every beginning of a semester. This time, we visit the beautiful “Wiks slott” north of Stockholm. The place has a long historic background and I cite their own web page:
Wik Castle is unique. It was constructed in the late 1400s and is Sweden’s best-preserved medieval castle. Its roots, on the other hand go at least another 200 years back in time. Solid walls and moats made the castle impregnable. In the Middle Ages, the castle was one of the strongest fortresses in the Mälar valley, and Gustav Vasa once besieged it for over a year without getting inside the walls.
It’s was a bit scary to prepare for the writing camp and I wonder why. The people are nice, the place is beautiful, the food is great and even if there are lots of rumors about ghosts in this area I’ve been sleeping like a prince (or maybe better). So what makes it scary? I think it comes down to the phenomenon that it is scary to expose your thoughts, your structure (or lack thereof) and your language skills to someone else and be ready to be criticized for them. I also realize that if I, a fifty year old man, still feel a bit intimidated by letting someone read and criticize my text, then how hard mustn’t it be for our students when they expose their songs, lyrics and productions for evaluation?
On the other hand, what a gift to future generations if we could build a community of trust where no-one is ashamed and everyone dares to expose their inner self without the risk of being dismissed.