Saturday, 18 December 2010

End of the year and rewrites

I haven't written much recently on this blog but with the end of term and snow and stressed students there hasn't been much time. Teaching finished yesterday. The forms have gone in stating I will be submitting soon. So today I am finishing two book reviews I need to get done but then it is down to the rewrites.

I am looking forward to these as I have some exciting ideas bubbling away and waiting to reek havoc within the novel. The glorious and extremely talented Lucy Christopher came to talk to our MA students this week. I have met Lucy a few times at conferences and as those of you who read my blog will know we had a fantastic time together at the Emergent Adult Conference in Cambridge back in September. She is a star and an inspiration. Her session with the students was wonderful as she shared some of her writing tools with them. One of which was fantastic as it re-vitalised my own creativity which had become clogged with the critical aspects of the thesis that I had been writing recently thus allowing me to approach these rewrites with renewed energy.

It transpires that both Lucy and I will be submitting our PhDs at similar times. At least this means we can share the stress. We have both just been working on our critical part of the thesis. I have found this difficult only because I have so much to say and so few words to say it in. I feel a bit like I have barely touched several subjects which to me seem vital and deserve more attention. However, it has been pointed out by another of my supervisors, Dr Paul Manning, that whatever research doesn't make it into the final piece can be used for articles, chapters for books etc. This is something I endeavour to do in 2011 as I aim to raise my profile through publication. Talking to people from other establishments I realise that Creative Writing PhDs come in all sorts of formats with a widely ranging word count for the critical part. But whatever format it comes in we all face the same stresses! I will wait with baited breath for the first lot of feedback from the DoS on my critical stuff, though yesterday he seemed quite positive about it. Fingers crossed.

I am also intending to focus on Ham and Jam with an ambition to get it published as well. It is a book I have loved writing and still love. I am really looking forward to the next few weeks of rewrites. I have left it alone for several months whilst I worked on the critical piece. I am now ready to return. Sometimes that is how it has to be. I was struggling with the idea of rewrites a few weeks ago but as my DoS pointed out it was because I was not ready to do them. Now I am.

2010 has been a strange year. There have been some wonderful highs but also some unbelievable lows. All of which will set me up for 2011 which, as my DoS has also pointed out, is going to be a BIG year for me.

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