Last week was spent in deepest, darkest, stormiest Yorkshire on a writing course (www.arvonfoundation.org) . It was held in the former home of poet Ted Hughes – how’s that for inspirational? No TV, no radio, no internet access (I only heard about the awful floods in Cumbria via a phone call with The Husband). Just plenty of time to learn, read and write. Oh and get to know the other fifteen participants and two tutors. What a great experience.
The hardest part for most people was to share their work with others. Actually read it out loud. However, once everyone had got over that initial hurdle (apologising profusely) you realised what you might have missed if they hadn’t dared. Some beautiful and often funny writing, that made you nod inwardly with a flash of recognition; oh yes, I’ve felt that too.
And that for me was the biggest lesson. That it doesn’t matter that it’s a first draft (or the fifteenth or the fiftieth), but at some point you have to be courageous enough to share what you’ve created with other people. Rude not to, really.