I spent yesterday shadowing fantastic poet Ian Bland at a primary school in Rochdale. Ian writes poetry for children and travels all over the country running poetry workshops in schools. He is absolutely brilliant. By the end of the day, every Junior child had written their own poem. Ian is definitely someone to book if you are a primary school Literacy Coordinator or Head Teacher. Shadowing was a great opportunity to see primary school workshopping modelled so that I can refine and improve my own skills and ideas for running creative writing workshops.
It really is difficult to pay bills from just writing stories (sorry, if this sounds whingy... I know I'm lucky to be able to do what I'm doing. And please no one mention JKR...) Working as a writer in schools is a way to supplement my wage. But actually the financial incentive is not the major motivator for me. I just really miss working with people. There is something horribly indulgent in spending all day every day writing. What I loved about the youth work job I packed in to write full time is that it felt like I was actually doing something constructive in other people's lives. I felt like I was contributing to society. Being useful.
I realised how much I miss working with children and young people and LOVED putting that 'hat' back on again yesterday.