Tuesday is the mid-point of the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School (what, already? It can’t be!) and the day when the main programme is temporarily halted, to allow delegates to take a breath, maybe even take a bit of free time. For the past few years, it has also been Procrastination-Free day. But more of that in a while.
Fancy Dress Disco
First of all, let’s return to where we left off yesterday: getting ready to party. I am pleased to report that the Wild West Fancy Dress Disco went off very well, with gunslingers, cowgirls, a posse of saloon girls and even an inflatable horse. We line-danced, we bopped, we rocked and we did all sorts of strange hand movements. And if I hadn’t forgotten to wear my step counter, I could probably have shown that I did enough exercise to last me until the end of the week.
Procrastination Free Day
But enough frivolity; back to not procrastinating. The official approach to PFD is for 20 writers to lock themselves in a room, set targets, write in short bursts and award themselves stickers each time they hit a target. I did it last year, and still have the stickers to prove it. So this year, rather than take up one of the rare places, I shut myself away in a room on my own. I set myself seven targets; of which six are completed and the seventh will be done by mid-morning tomorrow. So I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself. Now where did I put those stickers?
Swanwick Talk Show
No guest speaker tonight. Instead, Swanwick’s favourite BBC reporter, Simon Hall, chaired the first Swanwick Talk Show, firing questions at course tutors Steve Hartley, Sue Moorcroft and John Mayhew. As you might imagine, it was a fun evening, with lots of laughs, but plenty of wry comments that every writer in the room could identify with. I meant to make a note of some of the pithy responses, but was enjoying it so much, I forgot! So I will leave you with their closing words. When asked why they kept writing, even though, as we know, there can be really bad days along the line, they all agreed that it was the best job in the world and was being paid to play. As John Mayhew said: if it ever becomes a day job, I will give it up and get a day job.
Only in Swanwick would I end up brushing my teeth in the bath, because the Prosecco is cooling in the sink!