Time please

Hark! It’s Autumn already, sh*t that means Christmas is approaching, jeebus.

It’s been a busy month so far, but finally after a complicated few years I am no longer a student! Hurrah! Yesterday was the official graduation day for my course, and I was pleased to be awarded a (deep breath) MFA in Advanced Film Practice (Screenwriting) with Distinction.

Now whilst I’m aware that qualifications in this creative world don’t necessarily count for much, for me, the course gave me focused time to work on my writing, access to advice and lots of interesting professionals, the chance to make contacts, start making actual films, and find my ‘voice’ and a little confidence – I’m having a small proud moment. In addition I received an email out of the blue saying I’d been awarded the Santander Film & Creative Media Prize for Excellence which comes with a rather nice cheque – thank you very much.

There’s always much debate about whether writers and filmmakers need qualifications – some have and some haven’t – but there’s a rather insidious, (bordering on the snide) lot in the blue corner who seem to relish pouring scorn on those in the creative field who choose to participate in something that has an element of teaching in it.

You know what annoys me about that – you can’t generalise when it comes to the creative process or those involved in it. Some people do better without an exam result to their name, others like a structured existence where they have access to academic facilities and support. I’m neither – but at times in my life I’ve enjoyed both of those experiences. None of it is right or wrong, don’t tell me what suits me, my writing and my chosen education process (whether it’s life or school, or a bit of both), and I won’t tell you. Do what helps fire your belly and inspires your creative process. If you find yourself stalling, try something new – go to a class if you’ve never tried one before, or if you’re a serial class-attender, give yourself a break from structure and see what happens – scary maybe but perhaps it will be exhilarating and life-changing.

Don’t listen to the scorn-pourers, they’re frustrated and determined to make themselves feel bigger and better than they actually are by belittling you.

Access to education is a wonderful thing – I hope political machinations don’t kill it for the majority with these cuts and proposals.

Keep reading, learning, sharing, networking, talking, dancing and exploring what and who you are, and what you might become.

Life’s too short.

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