Our thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this material to our attention.
Lisa Allen-Agostini recently finished her appointment as the Dame Hilda Bynoe Writer-in-Residence at St George’s University in Grenada. She wrote a post looking back at her residency, where she speaks of the process of becoming a writer:
I hate being alone because in my head there are always these voices, these stories, these lines running. I dream in Technicolor, big dreams with complicated plots and subplots and most nights I’d rather not. I’d rather just sleep, thanks. I’d rather have dinner watching TV so that these characters don’t take over my brain. I described my reading the other day as “white noise” to cover up the chatter.
Because I’ve been almost utterly alone, almost all day, almost every day for the past five weeks, it’s been a struggle to keep those characters contained. And then I realized that that was what was wrong. I had to let them out.
Now I can’t stop writing. I woke up on Sunday, ran to my computer and started typing. It was the first time that I didn’t bother to ritualize it—make breakfast, drink my tea, have a long shower—which is the routine I’d established over the past month to begin to write again. Such rituals can be important. You’ll hear writer after writer say that they make themselves write every day; whether what they write is any good or not, it’s the habit that’s important. Well, I’m back in the habit for sure. Sunday morning, at 5.22 am, I just jumped at the computer and wrote and wrote for about two hours.
You can find the full post at http://groundationgrenada.com/2014/04/05/jumbie.
Allen-Agostini has also written a series of articles for the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian reflecting upon her residency: http://www.guardian.co.tt/byline-authors/lisa-allen-agostini (one needs to sign up with the Guardian to be able to read the full articles).