04 Jun 2019 / #Arvon50
Being a writer is a solitary business: we sit and write for hours. We all do it differently, in different places, at different times, sometimes in the morning and sometimes at night; some writers like to work in a café, or a shed, the library, a study, in bed—but in one sense we are all the same: we are alone with our thoughts and we are putting those thoughts down on a page. For such a lot of sitting, it’s exhausting.
When one has sat so long, so silently, for many months—or, in my case, years—even in a room painted a gentle pink that reminds me of the calamine lotion my mother daubed on me when I got into poison ivy—then, like the calamine, my Arvon week is a balm. Demanding, yes, but so exciting, so stimulating, to be with other people, writers like me, sharing our stories, our writing habits, our successes and failures, our meals. Teaching at Arvon makes me re-think the elements of fiction and craft; how to take an idea and run with it. On an Arvon course, everyone feels like real writers whether they are published or not: you don’t have to be published to be a writer; you just have to write and to love doing it, and also to hate it sometimes.
Arvon turned 50 in 2018 and to celebrate we have collected the stories of writers far and wide who have a tale to tell about Arvon. The collection is published in our anniversary book and featured on our blog. This contribution is by Molly McGrann.
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