This is me, dressed in my writing clothes. You’re lucky – sometimes I don’t even wear the dressing gown.
My favourite place to write is bed, and my favourite time to write is early in the morning, while the rest of the world sleeps. I wrote a poem about this once, which I’d share with you now, except my mate Carrie Etter wants me to try and publish it in a proper poetry magazine. I need to send it to her…
I need to do lots of things. I need to finish my handbooks and weekly plans for my students, so that they don’t feel so apprehensive in starting a new year. I need to go into a meeting with my boss, to talk to the Bath Literature Festival people about how we can help provide fringe events with our students. I need to pick up my daughter and take her to tap class this afternoon. We were up late last night at an Open Evening – she’s nine and we’re looking at schools this year to discuss over this summer. So, I slept late and missed my writing time this morning.
‘Never give up your writing time,’ another poet mate, Tim Liardet, hissed at me yesterday when we were presenting modules to the second and third year students. ‘Never. Never. Never.’ I hissed back, ‘That’s such a male thing to say.’
I wouldn’t have said that ten years ago. Ten years ago, it would be me saying, ‘Never give up your writing time. Never. Never. Never.’ But, back then, I was the most important person in my life. Soon, perhaps too soon, I will be again. My daughter thinks she’d like to go to a boarding school when she turns eleven. But right now, I’m not.
So, when I can wake up early, I write. And when I can’t…one memory of her, curvetting in her ballet leotard, so graceful and beautiful and confident of my love…and my bitterness blazes away in a flame of passionate motherhood.
I think I’ll be a better writer for that.