Amber Moffat: It really makes such a difference to have that dedicated space and time for your craft
My Fellowship at KSPWC was wonderful and I’d like to thank all the staff and volunteers who enable these opportunities for writers to sequester themselves from the world so they can just focus on writing.
It really makes such a difference to have that dedicated space and time for your craft. I’m also very thankful to Katherine for building herself such a fabulous workplace and inspiring other people (particularly women) to make space for their writing in the world. It was poignant to visit Katharine’s studio and read that like me, she struggled to write in the family home. It’s so fitting that her legacy enables people like me to also experience that separation of their writing life from their family life.
During my time at KSPWC I was able to reconnect with that core part of myself which is distinct from my external identities and responsibilities. Having the isolation and clear stretch of uninterrupted time was invaluable to me at this stage of my project as I was able to generate several new concepts for the plot and solve some world-building problems I’d been having. I wrote18,000 new words for the novel over the two weeks, and also rewrote some of the earlier sections to reflect the new direction the story has taken. Having the freedom to write whenever I wanted meant I was able to immerse myself in the world of my novel and engage with the story on a much deeper level.
The physical environment of the centre is beautiful and I loved the outlook from my writing desk. It was such a joy to be able to get straight out of bed and just get into writing, with no other commitments. It was also wonderful to connect with the other Fellowship writers who were staying at KSPWC the same time as me, Cath Johnstone, Lisa Kenway and Sharon Giltrow. I already knew Sharon, but Cath and Lisa are based in the Eastern States so it was great to hear about their experiences and perspectives of the publishing industry.
I would encourage any writer who needs some time and space to focus on their work to consider applying for a KSP Fellowship. It’s a very special place.
Top Ten Tips:
Don’t feel like you must explore the local area if what you need is maximum time in the cabin, alone.
Don’t feel like you must socialise with other writers if what you need is maximum time in the cabin, alone.
Try to minimise any obligations to “outer-world” responsibilities.
Schedule set times for phone calls with family members (like your children) so you are not likely to be interrupted by their need for contact.
Have clear goals but also be open to new ideas and approaches during your time at KSPWC.
Visit KSP’s work-space and reflect on her courage and legacy.
Harness that courage in your own writing.
Write without judgement when writing first drafts.
Engage with the view from your window as there are treasures to be found in the trees.
Embrace the KSPWC as a place you can be guided by your inner voice.
Amber Moffat, KSP Fellow 2023