As a mum and freelancer the inside of my head most often resembles a tumbling, teeming ant hill; to-do lists and piles of dirty laundry marching to and fro as far as the eye can see. A new baby and family far away means it can sometimes feel like we’re only moments away from total meltdown. So when an opportunity came my way to attend a residential course on writing for children, funded by a helpful grant, I jumped at the chance. But by the time I was trundling my little suitcase through the autumn leaves to the station I was having some serious doubts. Who on earth did I think I was? Writing? Spending a week being tutored by some wonderful, experienced children’s authors? Me?
Isn’t it funny, I want to tell you about the wonderfulness of that week…how my doubts were turned on their head, how I met such warm and encouraging people, how so much that had felt out of focus came into focus…but in the end, in spite of having been on a writing course, I have no words. So what can I tell you? Well, I’ve come back firstly with permission to write, and confidence in the quality of what I am writing. I’ve come away with the knowledge that there’s lots of work to be done but an idea of how to do it. And I think most of all, a bright moment of calm, where I stretched out my arms right to the fingertips and took the deepest breath I have taken for a very long time. That was worth more than I can say.