In 2015 I went on a writing retreat to Lumb Bank in Yorkshire. It was an Arvon Foundation writing course and our writing tutors were the fabulous Stephen May and Emma Jane Unsworth. It was a really special week, not just because of the inspiration we got from our brilliant tutors, but because I found my writing family there.
At the time I was contemplating making a big change to my life. To stop working in a full time, permanent role for a really rather wonderful media agency (PHD UK I’m looking at you, you lovely people) and to take the plunge to go freelance and create more time for my writing. The plan, to finish my first novel.
In April 2016 I finally stopped being a full time employee and became a freelance consultant and writer. I don’t think I could have taken that plunge without the encouragement and support of the writing family I found at Lumb Bank that summer in 2015. Wherever the world may take me, I will always be one of the Demon Beaters of Lumb (may have to get badges made now that I think of it).
Every day we had workshops with our tutors, to keep the writing juices flowing. One of the exercises Emma had us do was to write a ‘guide to writing’ for ourselves. This was something we did individually in about 10 minutes live in the workshop and we all shared them as a group afterwards. It was so inspiring. I typed mine up and it’s displayed by my desk at home.
As today is a day for taking stock and possibly making resolutions (I’ve never really trusted them myself) I felt the urge to share my guide with you. I hope it helps you as much as it helps me on the tougher writing days. All writers have demons to beat, here is how I deal with mine (complete with typo, because sod it):