Do you remember Back to the Future with Michael J Fox? Of course you do. Well unfortunately for me after an amazing week away from it all, it was…Back to Reality. I know of course, that to experience pleasure you have to be familiar with the opposite emotion, but did it have to run concurrently? Anyway suffice to say that I have found it quite difficult to rejoin the real world after the bubble that was Lumb Bank.
The good news though, is that I have written more this week than before and have reworked a couple of pieces I started in Yorkshire. I have listened to podcasts on writing; bought books on writing and woken up thinking about what I am writing! The course and subsequent contacts from the writers I met, have really given me the impetus to get going.
I have even found a Telling Tales night held once a month in Buxton where I’ll be able to go along and listen to others’ stories. If I can muster the courage I could always read some of my work too. First night is 4th August, so I shall let you know how it goes.
Yesterday I returned from West Yorkshire and my course at Arvon’s, Lumb Bank. It was one of the most exciting and challenging weeks I have ever had. I met 17 other writers, among them my tutors, Emma Jane Unsworth and Stephen May who were incredibly generous with their encouragement; advice and wit.
It was a week of firsts including reading my work aloud to an audience – something I had not thought possible before. I was forced to work at speed with timed exercises. Again I was a complete novice, but found the discipline freed me up and allowed me to produce some pieces that I plan on developing further.
I was also introduced to a quote by Ernest Hemmingway.
“The first draft of anything is shit.”
What a freeing statement, especially for a perfectionist like me. I will be keeping this firmly in mind and on my pin board from now onwards.
More on Lumb Bank to come next time.
I’m getting nervous now (and excited).
Next Monday I head off into the unknown. Well, Hebden Bridge to be precise.
My ultimate destination is Lumb Bank, the former home of poet Ted Hughes. I have booked myself onto an Arvon Course at Lumb Bank to give myself the push I need to write regularly. The course promises morning workshops; one to one sessions with tutors; inspiration and feedback from other writers.
Watch this space for news about how I get on.
Step 2 of my new found approach is to immerse myself in all things writing so I have taken out a subscription to a quarterly writing magazine called Mslexia. It is full of features; stories; publication opportunities and course details. When this drops onto the door mat every quarter it should give me the creative boost I’m after.
I have also started searching the web for inspiration and recently watched a TED Talk featuring Nathan Filer, author of The Shock of the Fall. Nathan had 7 golden rules that he shared – all of which I have now written up and refer to each day.
Most importantly I have started writing every day. Correction – that should say I have started ‘trying‘ to write every day. Sometimes I sit at the table for half an hour and nothing comes, but having set aside the time I hope that with practice and perseverance, I will eventually find it easier.