Cynthia Rogerson spoke engagingly, last night, about the struggles to balance work and home life with writing. She shared sage advice, advocating regular exercise (which is apparently good for the subconscious) as much as boldly telling your friends that you’re writing a masterpiece (forcing you to live up to your claim!). Whilst much is dependent on money and luck, Cynthia reminded us that, above all, to be a writer one needs a thick skin and dedication. And one just needs to find the space and time to finish that novel – but also to accept the things which get in the way as ‘grist to the mill’.
Cynthia went on to speak specifically about her work at the Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre, and what Moniack Mhor can offer writers. We learned about how the organisation provides a space ‘cut off from the world, in a good way’ – where writers can meet each other and focus on their work, without the distractions of everyday life. Its merits were endorsed by a healthy chorus of former tutors and residents in the audience.
The session then opened to questions from the floor, which expanded into a wide ranging, stimulating discussion about the state of writing and publishing today. The discussion was occasionally gloomy in outlook, reflecting on the domination of Amazon and the pitfalls of self-publishing. But as Cynthia concluded: whilst the future is uncertain, there is still a deep-seated need for us to communicate through stories.