Day two of the Writers’ Weekend. A bright, clear morning with dizzyingly beautiful views over the wide valley. I took off early for a walk with my camera, trying to catch that distinctive early-morning light. When I take photographs, in a doomed attempt to capture visual moments, I am also learning how to write. So much of the process of writing is about learning to really see the world.
Then more workshops. Two highlights for me were a workshop on synopsis writing given by Terri Bradshaw and one on editing poetry, given by Siobhan Logan. I learned about the subjects in question and approaches to teaching them.
I’d been trying to get Internet access and was told that I could use an unsecured wi-fi network based in one of the buildings on the site. I took my laptop out and sat next to the building in question – getting a strong and hopeful signal. But on trying to connect, my computer informed me that it had: “Failed to connect due to an unknown reason.” Blogging from the weekend was not to be.
I contented myself with walking around the house, admiring the quirky little details that set genuinely old buildings apart from impressions of history recreated on interior design lifestyle shows.
That evening, after a very enjoyable meal and a session of joke telling (during which I learned that the Scandinavian nations tell very rude stories about each other) I decided to drive back through the night rather than waiting until the next morning to return to Leicester.
What did I get out of the experience? (Other than a need to exercise. That food was far too good.)
In all the rush and focus on product that are part of my life as a writer, I sometimes forget what it is all really about. The writing weekend put things back in perspective. Spending time with writers. Talking about craft and creativity. Listening to other people's hopes and uncertainties. All this has left me feeling more centred in what I am doing.
And so, with that, it is back to the screenplay with renewed enthusiasm and a determination to enjoy the journey.