Master of nothing

This month my head is filled with words…but not the ones I’m going to share with you here.
As the evenings begin to draw in and autumn is well and truly upon us there is a distinct ‘back to school’ feeling in the air, and I have gone back to university.

Three weeks ago I began my Masters in Creative Writing with the Open University and I’m still in shock. I knew it would be a challenge and I knew I’d have to find a lot of spare hours in a seemingly impenetrable weekly schedule but I am feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the ‘hidden’ work one is expected to do, mostly in the form of extra reading and research.

It’s been a while since I’ve studied properly and never at this level; I’ve always been the type of person to throw myself into something 100 per cent emotionally whilst doing the absolute minimum amount of actual ‘work’ to get by – and always managed to get by – but I’m beginning to feel as if I’ve just donated the next two years of my life to sitting in front of the computer.

I will survive and hopefully thrive; I might even share some of my writing here in due course. In the meantime if I go quiet you know where I am: at the kitchen table surrounded by half-drunk mugs of tea (Highland Stoneware of course), tapping away and wondering why I never seem to have enough time to paint these days, while my kayak stares at me reproachfully.
It’s all about balance! (Or is it juggling?)

I am finding that writing can be therapeutic in the most unexpected ways. Ideas come to me in the shower, out walking, in the middle of cooking. They grow uncomfortably like nausea after a rotten meal and I simply have to throw it up. I feel so much better afterwards, but exhausted. Then the writing gets picked apart, and not always in a good way. What a rollercoaster this is going to be!

What’s the relevance of the boats? In other news, I’ve become quite taken with the local skiff and have been out rowing a handful of times. None of us have much spare time and the ‘shall we go out?’ call is usually at very short notice. Very soon it’ll be dark after work, the waves grey and choppy but next year I hope to join in a bit more regularly, if they’ll have me. The last time was a couple of weeks ago as the sun went down. I was fascinated by golden light on the fishing boats in the harbour and their squiggly reflections and felt a painting coming on.