Once again, the summer school I ran for Oxford University was intensely rewarding and intensely draining! I'm sitting in the study with files and handouts strewn about - they probably won't be sorted properly until September. I met some lovely people and they produced some wonderful writing exercises, creating fascination and a great deal of laughter!
It really is time now for time out, though. The past few months have been productive but challenging, both on personal and professional levels. I feel I need to take two or three weeks now just for me, to try to gather my thoughts, not about my clients or my students, but about me. Interestingly, both at Winchester and at last week's summer school, I was asked 'What are you working on now?' Well, it'll be a year next month since I set up fictionfire and that has been an all-encompassing project. I've learned an extraordinary amount and have seen the business grow - and hope to see it grow further - but during all this, and with the normal demands of my other teaching, it's been all too easy to lose sight of myself as a writer. I have not been producing very much and what there is is short: poems, a short story for the Bridport competition. Everything else is on the back burner. For some years now I've been wrestling with this: what do I write next? How much do I care? Is my over-awareness of the 'business' of it all cancelling out the once-instinctive joy of it? These are serious questions. Yet, in spite of it all, that sense of an itch, that virus in the blood, that hunger to create is still there - below the surface. I hope to get some mulling and pondering done while I take my break from the professional side of me. Oh, and I also hope to get some reading done. For pleasure, nothing else - how would that be?
Enjoy your summer, all of you!