Write Now

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

Yesterday I attended my first day school for the Open University’s A215 Creative Writing course. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it was going to be; we spend about 45 mins talking about ourselves and our writing influences, then did a sequence of exercises, which started small (a body part – mine was the bicep) and developed into an interesting narrative (I ended up writing about a soldier).

This is my second OU course, I just finished AA100 The Arts Past and Present at the end of September. I won’t know my final result until December, but completing it was a big achievement for me. I’ve abandoned several courses over the years, I even dropped out of uni when I was 18. It’s so easy to quit when it gets tough, to talk myself out of continuing, to give myself excuses not to carry on. Weirdly enough, I’ve wasted hundreds of pounds on ditched courses, but this time I received funding to cover the course so I didn’t have to pay a penny towards it.

AA100 also improved my essay-writing ability, although I’m still not so confident in that area. I might have even gotten a distinction overall on the tutor-marked assignments if I hadn’t messed up the 4th assignment on English Christianity in the 16-19 centuries…

To be honest though, I decided to study AA100 to pass time as I waited for the next scheduled Creative Writing course, and because it’s the compulsory course for most of the Humanities degrees. I’ve wanted to do the writing course for years, but always talked myself out of it. Now I’m enrolled, and I’m really nervous about it. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, since I was a kid. I used to write all the time until about 10 years ago when I started working full-time and got bogged down in crap. I’m hoping that this course will give me the support and structure to get my flabby writing muscle fit again. I’m not a fan of writing exercises, though I know that many people find them helpful. When I used to write I just followed my own inspiration, and I find it hard to follow random prompts. However, I’m going to try to be open to the process, even if I find it uncomfortable at first. No pain, no gain – right?

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