So, what’s the best thing to do when you’re really, really busy? Yep, that’s it – find something else to do as well.
So here I am, just surfacing after the head-wrecking weekend that was Strokestown International Poetry Festival, participating in a social media training course. (Don’t laugh. And no, I probably shouldn’t have responded to my terror of Facebook by deleting my page recently, but that’s another story.)
While I’m at it, I could have a go at developing my memoir-writing skills with the legend that is Michael Harding, couldn’t I? Roscommon Arts Centre’s Bealtaine course this year.
And what about running a series of creative writing classes for beginners in Tubbercurry? OK, I’ll do that too.
Strokestown International Poetry Festival was an absolute blast – a hectic five days in which I met some wonderful writers and got to launch my collection, ‘Beyond the Green Bridge’ alongside poets Majella Cullinane (who was over from New Zealand for the occasion) and Erin Fornoff.
The sun shone, words flowed and good humour abounded, and I had a really great (if exhausting) time. I even got to sign a few copies of my new book and read at the launch of the 2018 Strokestown Anthology, and did a street performance with the Hermit Collective.
As a member of the organising committee, I hadn’t before appreciated how much time and effort goes into setting up a world-class poetry festival – and how much still has to be done after everyone goes home. This was the 20th Strokestown Poetry Festival, so everyone pulled out all the stops to make it a memorable occasion. It was certainly that (in a good way!). Check out what happened here: 20th Festival Highlights
So now I’m hoping to have enough people to join me in doing some creative writing on Thursday evenings in Tubbercurry, County Sligo, just for ten weeks.
I’m hoping I can inspire a few new writers with some of the enthusiasm I still have for the craft – not just poetry, but short stories, flash fiction, memoir, journal keeping (one of my favourites), and other forms of the written word. I’ll be able to pass on some insider tips and information about publication opportunities and writing competitions, but will also encourage newbies to just have a go.
Anyone can be a writer if they want to be.
A good writer, though, that’s a bit trickier. Writing is like any form of culture, it is subjective. It takes practice of course. And luck. A thick skin. A support network. And pink pyjamas and a ping-pong ball. Oops! Look at me, I’m giving everything away already.
If you want to know more, you’ll have to book a place on the course. At a fiver a session (because it is supported by the MSLETB Community Education Scheme) I think it’s a snip…