On writing

Prussia Cove Writing Trip

A beautiful backdrop, completely disconnected from the outside world and seemingly out of this decade, the dramatic coastal path stretching left and right. Does it make you want to pull out your pen and paper? Because this is the type of thing that really gets my creative juices flowing.

I don’t get a chance to take trips like this very often for a few different reasons: I don’t have a car to get to remote places and I can’t usually allocate the finances to extend my stay beyond a half-day, which is why I am so grateful that I was able to go on this trip.

We stayed at Porth En Alls for two nights. The site is made up of clustered old houses and charming cottages scattered around the cove. The scenery is very dramatic, especially on stormy days. I love the disconnected atmosphere, it was definitely the best place to have a writing retreat.

On Saturday morning, Wyl Menmuir took a few students on a writing walk which culminated at Cudden Point. Wyl read out some of his favourite passages and poems, and we used the landscape to respond. I find that this exercise always works wonders for me. There is something about the immediacy of the landscape, the rapidly changing nature of it and my effort to try and capture it that inspire some of my best passages.

For the rest of the day, I continued to mull over what I had written on the walk and I began thinking about how I would incorporate those paragraphs into my current work.

Writing about nature and place is a significant part of my practice. So little attention is now being paid to the natural environment and its declining beauty. But it is a stunning, wild and wondrous thing, and worth writing about in great detail.

I want to incorporate more writing walks into my practice. It’s actually something I used to do regularly a few years ago. The reason I don’t most days is that I, like so many others, get wrapped up in silly mundane tasks. Making sure the house is in order, keeping up with family and friends on a regular basis, it’s can get too demanding sometimes.

Although it was short, our trip to Prussia Cove was definitely inspiring. It came at the right time for me. It’s brought it back to my attention that I have a goal, and I need to do more things that will bring me towards that goal.

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