So this is it! For me, and my fellow students on Oxford’s Creative Writing MSt course, the final deadline approaches. There are just a few more weeks and it will all be over. This is the time for final revisions, last minute panics and desperate questions about whether comb or spiral bindings are better. The best thing about this time is the opportunity to read other people’s work as it reaches completion (or, at least, a temporary closure). We have shared work throughout the course, both in formal seminars and informal workshops, and so it is joyous to see these pieces reaching their final stages. I am convinced that I am surrounded by some of the poets, novelists and script writers who will dominate the bookshelves, screens and platforms of the future. How exciting to have seen the inception and development of some of this work.
The worst thing? The apprehension of hand-in? The stress of juggling a ‘Sod’s Law’ deadline? (September is also a major deadline for my day job and all the preparation work on the new Children and Families Act. Two years work on this have coincided almost exactly with the two years of the MSt.) No, the worst thing is the ending of a stimulating, creative and exciting two years of study. It isn’t really the end, of course. Friendships for life have been made, and there will be many opportunities for workshopping and sharing work in the future. But it is the end of a particular framework for these opportunities and that is sad.
On the other hand, there is part of me that wants to reach the deadlines so that I can get on with finishing this novel – and then starting the next one! This is for life, not just for a two year creative writing degree. In the meantime, though, that deadline calls.
See you on the other side!