I did not know what a masterclass was.
It was something my musician-friends spoke about, but I had never experienced myself.
When the British Library organised a masterclass in creative writing with Prof Bill Herbert, I knew I had to enroll.
Sometimes, there are many things about writing that you know.
Rule #1: Show, don’t tell.
Rule#2: Always treat your first draft as what it is: a first draft.
Rule#3: Read what you have written. Step out from your world to read.
Rule #4: Understand the role of the senses while revealing character.
Rule#5: Read aloud to taste the phrases you write and find out if they sound as good in reality as they do in your head.
We know all these things.
Yet, to sit there with other writers and listen to the same things again is rewarding. Each idea is a gentle reminder that the world gives you to bring back what you’ve forgotten, and reassure you that some of the things you are doing are ‘right’.
When you are waiting for that email from a publisher, which takes ages to come, you feel strong again because there are things that are going well.
When the email from the publisher is not everything you wanted it to be, you realise that it is okay.
Because you realise that, sometimes, the joy of writing is writing itself.