Thoughts on: Teaching
I got into teaching more or less by accident. And certainly out of necessity: about 6 years ago the business of being a freelance writer, almost continually in isolation, was destroying me artistically and financially.
When I started teaching, I tried to distance myself from it as much as possible.
But gradually the question of how to teach in a way that helps unlock and develop students' creativity has begun to utterly fascinate me.
I had to find my own way to become an artist, and I had to do so almost completely alone. So I have no models to guide me.
And I don't know how much I ever actually manage to teach my students; I do know that I learn a lot from them.
One thing I have learnt is how much I enjoy performing - something that I used to be utterly cut off from.
When I was at school, I used to love acting. The rehearsal room was the only place I felt completely at home. The difficulty was that I was in a single sex boarding school, and was always given the girl's parts.
That enabled me to express a part of myself that was being suppressed and which was incredibly important to me.
But it also brought me unavoidably into close touch with a part of myself I was terrified and ashamed of and which could not, in fact, ever be openly expressed in the profoundly homophobic institution in which I was imprisoned.
So I both discovered my vocation and was blocked from following it.
The conflict was unspeakably painful. It almost destroyed me. It kept me away from the theatre for another fifteen years.
That must be why I feel so passionate about good teaching in the creative arts.