I’m writing my last post for the residency at 12.30pm on a school night – most of the things I’ve written as part of the residency have happened late at night – after I’ve finished teaching and been for a run, or after I’ve finished conducting my junior band or after I’ve got back from a poetry reading. Once I got up early and finished one of the articles off before work. This was the day someone reversed into my parked car so I’m taking that as an omen that my optimum time for writing seems to be late at night, when your eyes feel sore and red from being open too long and the dogs are in a deep sleep taking up the best spot on the sofa.
The residency has been an amazing opportunity and hugely enjoyable. It’s the first residency I’ve done and it would be a lie to say I’ve not found it challenging to manage my time and fit everything in that I need to. I am happy to report however that my husband is still speaking to me despite being largely ignored unless he was bearing food or offering to walk the dogs.
One of the best things about the residency has been working closely with Will at the Poetry School who has been brilliant at editing everything I’ve written. It’s been a real privilege to have this level of input into my work and I feel like I’ve learned so much through this process.
There have been many times during the month when I felt smug about teaching myself to touch type when I was 17 – none more so than in the 2 hour live chat workshop with 11 incredibly astute, enthusiastic and talented poets who not only turned up to get their poems critiqued but also were generous and encouraging in their feedback to each other.
Throughout the residency I’ve been writing and reflecting on how poetry fits into a working life and the reality of being a ‘poet’. It has taken the residency to make me realise that poetry fits into my life by being squeezed into corners or around the edge of my day. I’m looking forward to this changing in the future. Three wonderful things happened to me during the course of the residency which will make it much easier to set aside time to write – the first of which was my first collection being accepted for publication by Seren in April 2015. I’m really looking forward to spending the summer holidays editing and working on the manuscript. I’m not allowed to say anything about the other two at the minute but I’m really excited about having more time to write in September when I’ll be reducing my music teaching hours to three days a week.
So thank you to the community on CAMPUS for making me feel so welcome and for reading and sharing and talking about the various things I spend time obsessing about. It is reassuring to know that there are other obsessives out there.