In my last post I wrote about my A-N mentoring bursary coming to an end. What I didn’t mention was that the last activity I did with my mentor, Rosalind Davis, was to complete my application for a Develop Your Creative Practice (DYCP) grant from the Arts Council.

The amazing news is that I was successful and have been awarded a DYCP grant. Over the next 10 months I will be collaborating with Rosie Garland to develop a series of 10 poetry films. Its taken a long, slow path to get to this point, but I think my year of my mentoring bursary has without doubt helped improve the position I am in now, with better focus and more clarity on my aims.

I’d been dithering about funding for a long time – weighing up the benefits and the likelihood (or not) of success against the time it would take to prepare an application when I have very limited working time available. In the end it was finding a writing collaborator for the project in Rosie Garland that swung it in favour of making the application. She had previously been successful in an application for a DYCP award and so was on hand to advise me and encourage me. But most significantly I now was not only considering myself. Getting funding would mean that I could share this with Rosie. While she was entirely willing to collaborate with me funding or not – for which endorsement and encouragement I will be eternally grateful – but how could I proceed without trying my very hardest to secure funds for another creative.

This gave me focus and over the summer I drafted and redrafted, and drafted again when first of all only Project Grants were available, but then someone gave me the heads up that the DYCP would be reopened, and so I edited and redrafted yet again to be ready for when it would be open. The final step was to redraft with Rosalind to tighten it up with the benefit of her experience.

Thank you A-N, thank you Rosalind, thank you Rosie, and thank you to all the others who have helped me get to this point.