Thursday, 14 August 2014

Reflection, Revelation, Resolution

It's that time of year again ... I am stocking up on beautiful note books, establishing pen reserves and neatly putting dates in my diary (and in my electronic diary ... and on the family calendar ... IS IT JUST ME?) Despite the *turn* in the weather it is (most definitely) still very much the summer but thoughts of September and the Autumn and the new school/work/university year are seeping in (*pledges to be MUCH more organised this year*)

This time last year I was thoroughly excited, if absolutely terrified, about starting my Creative Writing MA. Well I did start and I have (thus far - there's still a year to go!) survived. You don't need a formal academic qualification to be a successful writer, and having one is absolutely no guarantee of success, but for me the journey through the MA is giving me the structure I need to move forward with my writing:
  • deadlines I absolutely have to meet
  • regular required writing and sharing of that writing with other writers
  • regular feedback opportunities
  • access to writers, including a whole range of writers I might well have *missed* both in terms of my reading and the sessions at the University. 
It's the being part of another community of writers that I value most. There's something about being around other writers - be that in an actual room in an actual place or in a virtual space by way of a screen 
 - it's empowering, liberating, enriching. 

The MA has given me more confidence in engaging with different writing communities and no more so than earlier this year when, much to my surprise, they gave me a prize (Edgehill MA Short Story Prize) ... Reader, I was STUNNED!!!

Given that I LOVE being part of writerly-communities (you KNOW it makes sense to MAKE writerly-friends ...  LOTS of them) I'm very excited to be setting up some more. The Real-World groups I tried out in the Summer term are all set to continue. I'm particularly excited about the regular Sixth form group which will be part of the School's enrichment programme. I see LOTS of opportunities for fun with this one, and trips ... I definitely see the chance for trips!

I am also setting up a Teachers Writing group in collaboration with the Teaching School I work with. We're linking up with a National project - more on this soon. And I'm setting up a group at a friend's cafe - JustWrite in Chorlton. If you're anywhere nearby I hope you'll call in and say hello. 

There's a lot to think about ... a of dates for my diary ... now which pen should I use?