SO SORRY ABOUT HOW LATE THIS POST IS AND HOW LAST WEEK I’D DIDN’T BLOG ONCE. I should maybe give up trying to have a blog right about now ye? Basically I have no excuse for last week other than I was too lazy to sort this post before it went live on Wednesday and then I missed that deadline so I decided I would only post once last week and stick this lil one live on Sunday. But then hey what do ya know, the weekend was all oh-so-fabulous that I forgot to do it yesterday so here we are, striking out on our own, on bad boy Monday. Let’s how it brightens up your Monday a lil (disclaimer: my Monday is already bright – it’s beautifully sunny today in Glasgow AND I met a friend for waffles and shakes this afternoon so life is good).
Anyway back to da post and not my shake love, I’ve been taking creative writing classes. It’s new. It’s weird. It’s nerve-wracking. It’s kind of exciting I decided that due to two v v v simple facts: that I love to read and I love write I would do something about it.. I like stories, fantasy, make-believe, mystery – world’s that aren’t anything like the one I live in. So here we are, me nattering about a small weekly class I do every Monday and which you guys know nothing about.
I like writing. Every day I think of a new idea, something new and different to write about. Something to carve and make my own. I can’t even count the number of little ideas I have pondered over in the last four years, the number of abandoned word documents in a folder called “Stuff”. But life gets in the way, I get side-tracked and I stop writing that idea. The good idea suddenly becomes the worst possible idea in the world. A stupid idea. Or I don’t have the time to work on it, make it into something. It just fades away into the background of the laptop as a little lonely word document.
But as I’m all “2016 is my year” kind of person currently (haha), I’m trying to change this stalemate I have going on. So back in December when I was deciding I would make this year my year, I signed up on a whim for a creative writing class ran by the university in January. And in January, I went.
I was so nervous before the first meeting. I was kind of worried I would be sitting in a room next to the next Virginia Woolf and Oscar Wilde. And in a way, I am. These people are smart and creative writers who write beautiful pieces. And I enjoy reading them, it helps me to shape and improve my own writing by critiquing theirs. The exercises we do in the class to expand and improve certain elements of our writing are also so helpful and clever. My personal favourite so far was the character one. Sometimes I think I over-complicate my characters, or lose my way with them. This exercise helped me to create a basic personality to build off. Other exercises we’ve done have been centred around setting and conflict – more important elements of writing. We’re asked to just write things on a whim when we come into the class and I’m actually REALLY surprised how much I love that. I’m surprised how my mind doesn’t blank as I think it would and I actually have some sort of idea to scribble down about “ghosts” or “January” – whatever the prompt is for the week.
We also get to a submit a piece of work to be “workshopped” by our tutor Carly and the rest of the class. In all honesty, I was terrified for this. What if they laughed at me? Thought it was stupid and rubbish? What if I didn’t have anything to write about? It took me about a week to come up with an idea I liked. Something I liked for more than two seconds. Something I could continue to write about. I love historical fiction. I’m fascinated with the past (maybe it comes with studying History …) and there is something I love more than a good mysterious novel about decades long ago. I’m a huge fan of Kate Morton (The Distant Hours is sensational and one of my favourite books – check it out here) and I love the style and themes in her work. I managed to write a lil summin up I’ve named “The Invitiation” and I’ve let a couple of people read it and the feedback was good. After having my piece workshopped and commentary take into account (mostly positive – only a tweaks about word choice suggested) I sat down again at my laptop to write some more. And the next day I wrote a little more. And the next.
I then got in touch my tutor asking for more advice and hers was simple: keep writing. So that’s what I’m going to to. I’m going to a set a little time aside each day or every couple of days to write a few more paragraphs. And maybe in a few years, we’ll see The Invitation sitting on a shelf in Waterstone’s (I joke).
Original Post Date: February 2016