A couple of weeks ago I went to the Breakthough Writers Festival thoughtfully put together by Kerry Hudson to support and encourage more writers from working class backgrounds. I’ve not read it yet but her memoir, Lowborn reflects on growing up poor and with a mother who struggled. Two experiences I know very well. I am saving the book for my holidays, who doesn’t love a good cry on the beach! I have listened to Kerry read an abridged version of her book for Radio 4 and even though it made my eyes water when I was walking down Stoke Newington High Street it also made me happy, listening to Kerry’s voice is a lovely experience on its own. Anyway back the the festival. So much good information was shared that I was totally shell shocked for a good week while I processed everything. I’m not usually overwhelmed but I went to a The Psychology of Writing workshop with Vicky Newham and she got me, within ten minutes she simply asked what was I scared of? How I didn’t burst into tears I dunno. And I have a new shero, Sam Missingham she refreshingly speaks as she finds, a rare quality in current times. Follow her on twitter, she’s brilliant.
All the speakers and the wisdom they shared with absolute passion was something new to me. Everyone who spoke on the panels or delivered a workshop genuinely wanted all the writers in the room to finish their projects and send them out into the world. I think this was the first event I’ve been to where the speakers were 100% there simply to encourage those watching and following their footsteps. It was an absolute joy. So the other side of overwhelm I have been writing, plotting, thinking and day-dreaming – I’m comfortable claiming day-dreaming as a creative activity – I haven’t quite got to 1000 words a day but I’m joyfully working on it!