Amanda Mason Writers Bursary Award 7 – 14 October 2017

I arrived with an incomplete manuscript, and the intention of editing what I had so far, and plotting out the rest of the form of the novel. I quickly established a routine – working in the morning, walking in the afternoon, then writing in the evening, which is my preferred method, and I was pleased with the amount of work I was able to complete – the peace and quiet of my stay was an unbelievable luxury, I was able to edit the work I’ve done so far and generated a great deal of new material.

What surprised me was the use I made of my non- writing time. I keep a journal, but as a rule I struggle to write in it regularly, as the pressures of everyday life make it hard to find time to write at all. During and after my daily walks I was able to write at length in my journal, working out personal feelings, but also roughing out ideas for short stories and notes for a possible novel, it was a very freeing experience, having the time to write for a range of purposes, and not something I am used to. It is a practice I am aiming to continue now I am home.

I still have a day job, and there are times when I find it quite difficult to remember that I am a writer, but the offer of a residency came at the best time for me, and I hope that the benefits of that week will play out gradually for me over the next couple of years to come.

Amanda is the second recipient of the Writers Bursary Award for 2017.