Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Moments of joy

You never know when they will come - sometimes it's that miraculous email or tweet from a stranger saying "I just had to tell you how much I enjoyed your ....". Today it's this blog post on the Arvon blog by one of the fantastic and delightful participants on the Starting to Write Short Stories course I co-tutored 2 weeks ago with Rob Shearman. When you run a workshop, you cross your fingers that, well, someone might get something, anything, out of it. You hope - you try things you've done before, you try new things. But you never really and truly know.

Until someone writes something like this, and it pretty much makes you cry:
" ... By Penrith I’m convinced that after such an intense week I’ll never settle to everyday life again. By Carlisle I start to worry how to break this awful news to my husband. I want to leave everything, turn my back on our previous life and write on an island retreat somewhere. By Motherwell I’m seriously nervous. The week has been truly intense and something in me feels forever altered.

Between Motherwell and Glasgow Central I take out my notebook and work on some of the pieces begun during my Arvon week.  I jot down a few thoughts and as I do I realise what the change has been. Two weeks ago I’d never have scribbled away on a train like this. I might daydream out of the window, passing the time, losing all those thoughts to the air. But now they’ve become a source of stories. Stories everywhere that only I can capture, only I can tell.

As we pull into Glasgow Central I am relieved to find that after all my marriage is safe, my lovely husband need never hear how deliciously unsettling my week turned out to be. But I also acknowledge this new need to make time and space in my day to write.

Because that’s who I am. I’m a writer.

Thank you Arvon.

by Colette Watson, a writer on the Starting to Write Short Stories week at Lumb Bank 4-9 August 2014" (Read the full post here)

Oh, thank you, Colette, for being so amazing and so open to everything, so ready. And thank you Arvon - who did this for me, years ago, and then did it again, and again. And now give me the immense pleasure to be able to attempt to pass some of that on. A joyous moment.