The third instalment from our writers in residence, who took the opportunity of a free week-long residency space for focused work.
These residencies were made possible by the generosity of three members of our community with holiday cottages they donated for free.
The residencies took place in Cumbria and Stroud, and in this final instalment we hear from Ronit, who spent her week in Wales…
I was in a tiny village called Llanfrynach, in Wales. There were no shops or pubs in the village, and with no distractions it was the perfect location to concentrate on my writing.
I knew which project I wanted to work on from the moment I applied for the residency; as I outlined in my reasons for applying, “our daughter has a rare genetic condition so we’ve had numerous hospital admissions and visits since 2017. Hospitals are very depressing places to be, but they are also absurdly comical. I’d like to put my energy into writing my next short script which is about a specific tragicomic situation we found ourselves in as parents. I’ve been finding it difficult to write this script perhaps because it’s still too close to home. Going away for a few days would really help me to take a step back, get some perspective and focus on retelling this story to a wider audience with humour.”
And the residency did just that, it really helped to remove me from the autobiographical aspect of the story and focus on the script from the third person.
There was one aspect of the residency that turned out to be different to what I’d expected. The other writer couldn’t make it so I was on my own in a beautiful house for the whole duration. It felt more like a retreat than a residency, as I didn’t really see or speak to many people over the four days, and although I was sad not to meet my co-resident, I found it quite liberating.
Anyone who has caring responsibilities will know how both mentally and physically demanding it is. As excited as I was, I was also a little bit scared of what having so much time to myself would be like. I decided to not set any goals for what I’d achieve at the residency, but just that I’d do some writing everyday and see where I got to.
As well as writing I managed to do some yoga and meditation every morning, go on some lovely walks, take lots of photos and meet the many sheep of Llanfrynach, and I even watched a film every evening – without falling asleep halfway through! Having all these activities apart from writing really helped me to have a structure to my days, and reduced the pressure of writing all day long, which I knew I couldn’t do.
In the end I had the skeleton of a script that previously didn’t exist, which I’m excited to go back to when I next have some free time, whenever that may be!
The residency has left me realising how important it is to take some time off family and other work responsibilities and allow myself the space to just create, rather than waiting for creativity to shine through amidst everyday chores.
Thank you Raising Films for making this happen, and an even bigger thanks to my partner who looked after our daughter whilst I was away.