I love being a Mum but the role definitely comes with highs and lows. Spending time with the kids and being their Mum is extremely rewarding. But, some of the battles, hanging yet another load of washing out and trying to come up with something for dinner that will bring cheers, not groans, can be a tough gig (I am aware these are first world problems )
I know I am lucky not to have to juggle motherhood and a job but sometimes it is nice to be known for being successful in a role other than BJ or AJ’s Mum. It is almost as though a previous life does not exist. Walking into a room and people not knowing your whole story is rather lovely, even if they eventually get to know it.
In December 2012 I started the Have Wheelchair Will Travel website and facebook page and it has given me a feeling of contributing in a small way through our experiences.
Soon after I started the page my Mum showed me an article about a travel writing course and said “I think you should do this. It sounds perfect for you”. It did sound good but I had a million reasons why I couldn’t do it. She found an answer for each and suggested I phone and speak to Rob McFarland the Travel Writer running the course. The next course was full so I went on a waiting list for the following year.
When the email arrived giving the date for the next course (March last year) I was excited at the prospect but self doubt started creeping in. The course entailed two days over two weekends. The fear came from the writing task. I had assumed, probably hopefully, that anything I wrote would be for the teacher’s eyes only BUT it was to be sent to all the other students to read.
The course approached and it was lovely to anticipate a day for myself. How nice to go into the city and spend a day with other people with an interest in travel. I headed off with my crisp new notepad (with the Eiffel Tower on the front to get into the travel spirit and hopefully inspire great writing). I figured I should look the part even if I was just bluffing.
My notebook now looks a little rough around the edges but is well used
My trepidation soon gave way to absolute joy. It was so wonderful to be learning again, to feel stretched and to be out of my comfort zone. The 12 students were from diverse backgrounds. Just to give you an example, there was a retired fire fighter, a lawyer and a hip young girl who had been couch surfing (travelling staying on people’s couches – not necessarily people you know). Although we were learning so much about writing it was a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Day one had gone well and riding the train home that afternoon I couldn’t wait to start work on my story. I felt invigorated by the day’s learning.
I desperately wanted my writing to be good and read and re-read my notes and finally pressed send on the email at the last possible hour of the deadline. It was interesting to read the other student’s stories. I didn’t understand the worth of this exercise until I was doing it.
I finished the two day course and loved every minute. The one thing I couldn’t get from the course was time. So, if you read some of my posts and find mistakes remember that isn’t a reflection on the teacher. Good writing takes time and silence, which is often not on offer in our house.
Aspiring writers are not the only ones who will benefit from the course. If you have an interest in travel, enjoy meeting others and trying something new I suggest giving it a go.
I did an advanced writing course with Rob in June last year and enjoyed it just as much.
If I sound enthused, it is because I am.
Check out Rob’s courses here