trading words

One of the great priveledges of being a working writer is when others who write, often friends, entrust you with their work.

This week has already been such a week. Yesterday I met with Henry, a chef and past student, to discuss his collection of short stories. Today, on the train down to Chichester Uni, (where I’m the RLF Fellow), I was lucky enough to travel with a clutch of fresh poems written by the poet Neil Rollinson. Also, I had with me the opening pages of some work by my good friend Rose. The poet Catherine Smith has also contacted me today regarding some work on a forthcoming novel. A bumper week.

In the past both Neil and Catherine have assisted me in my nascent efforts with poetry (see efforts published on my website).

Trading words and advice with other writers is another great marvel in my writing life. I’ve experienced much mentoring over the years, much help and guidance from other writers further ahead of me. And so it’s a good feeling to have come to a place of trust with others. Friends  who are either published already and going strong –  or attempting the pen in another form.

Happily, two of my Skyros students rang me yesterday. One, Rajul, has decided to enrole in a 2 year diploma in Creative Writing at Birkbeck so that she may prepare for the MA. The other, Clare,  has decided to go part-time or even quit her new posh teaching job to write.

I so encourage this behaviour when it comes to those who have real talent.

The only way to become a writer, a proper one, is to throw yourself bodily into the mess of it.  Neil and I were talking the other night about this; about what to say to students who have it.  Neil said this:

“Stop everything, pack your bags and walk away from your old life.”

I agree.


~ by moniqueroffey on April 22, 2009.

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