Well, I survived a weekend of writing and writers! Two days of a Writers Victoria Young Adult Masterclass with the lovely Maureen McCarthy, whose breakthrough novel Queen Kat, Carmel and St Jude Get a Life was one of my favourites when first published in 1995. And I’ve just finished her most recent, Stay with Me, a riveting and horribly relevant story of a young girl attempting to escape an abusive relationship.
While eleven hours of writing exercises may sound like the nightmare version of English at school, it was thoroughly enjoyable (despite the odd blank moment when nothing flowed). The others in the class (nine women and one man, not that surprising a statistic for anything YA) were a very creative and talented lot. The best part was the willingness of everyone to share, both pieces of their life and of their fiction.
There was a lot of inspiration, much laughing, some anger let out on the page in impressive style, and even a few unexpected tears – and this before lunchtime on the first day! I suspect Maureen is actually a therapist in disguise…
Writing can be very isolated, if not isolating – and also interrupted – so it was a joy to have that freedom of having nothing to do but write, then talk about that writing, get instant feedback from other writers, while thoroughly enjoying their writing. Exhausting but exhilarating.
I’ve come out the other side with a renewed faith in my words, and perhaps a clearer idea of how to get further with the manuscript I’m working on at present. What’s more to love?
Well, my bed at this point, so goodnight and good writing 🙂