The Official Nottingham Festival of Literature’s ‘The Audience’ is revealed…
So. Hi. If you’re reading this post then the odds are that you’ve been following this blog throughout the week. Or you’re one of those clever-clogs who waited for the whole thing to be finished so you could binge watch it like it’s a Netflix original. I see you, clever clogs.
This is the part of the week where I get to stop being an amorphous grey blob and tell you who I am.
My name’s Emma Reid. I’m a Creative Writing Student at Nottingham Trent University, because one morning I woke up and decided that employability was overrated. You may have seen me at a few events, I was probably the quiet girl sat at the back of the room and being the only person scribbling stuff into a notebook. I was not especially subtle. Look, espionage has never been one of my strong suits.
I’m twenty years old. I like books. I like video games. I like dungeons and dragons. I like telling stories and being told them. I still don’t have a strong opinion on James Joyce. I’m never completely happy with anything I make but that’s OK. I wasn’t even expecting to get the chance to write this blog.
It’s been quite a week, putting it lightly. Eye-opening is usually a word I reserve for rich kids who go on gap years to dig wells, but it was. The world of literature is impossibly, wonderfully varied, to the point where no one event could cover it all. But the festival has made a pretty good go at it. So many people have been given a voice, and not in some prescriptive, arbitrary way. People just…talked.
Passion is infectious, after all.
If there’s one thing the festival has done, it’s reaffirmed my love of Nottingham as a city. There were so many venues that I don’t normally have the opportunity to go to that I got to see as part of this festival. There’s history in the bones of Nottingham, it’s just that sometimes I need a reminder of it. A lot of good people have worked hard to remind the rest of the world that we’re here, and we’re important and we’re not going away.
Here’s something on a more personal note. One month before starting this blog I was diagnosed with dyslexia and dyspraxia.
This was a bit of a pisser, if I’m being honest.
There are bigger problems in the world, of course. Hell, ten per cent of the population has been dealing with it much better than I have; they don’t need me swanning in and flopping theatrically onto a fainting couch. I don’t know, I was determined to be bitter about it. There’s always going to be a part of me that wonders how much more I could do without it. And then another part of me wonders if I’m actually kind of glad, because now I have some excuse when I don’t push myself.
So the only solution to both those problems is to keep on pushing.
I find it hard to express myself sometimes, especially verbally. Often when I’m talking my brain keeps whirring and my mouth just gives up, creating this weird verbal mush. I hate this. It makes me sound like a moron. I want to be able to grab the person I’m talking and shake them and shriek ‘It’s not me, I promise there’s something in this if you’ll only listen to me!’ Something tells me that that would probably only make the situation more awkward. It’s impossibly frustrating, to have your voice taken away.
But when I write I can go back. I can fix the mistakes. Spelling stops being a big deal when you have a word processor that can point out your many failings. I can be me.
I may never make a living from writing, but I don’t care. Writing means I have a voice.
I hope this week has helped you find yours.
If you enjoyed following me over this week, you can find more of my stuff on these two sites. It’s been an absolute pleasure.