This week has been a momentous one for me.
Work has been plodding along nicely, but on Thursday I submitted my creative writing course end of module assignment.
When I enrolled on the OU Creative Writing course A215 I really didn’t know what I was letting myself in for. It’s something I had wanted to do for years. Really, years. For many reasons I never found the time (or the guts) to enrol. I told myself I wasn’t a writer. I told myself that writing for work doesn’t count as I write non-fiction. The thought of writing something made up, and actually showing someone, scared me. The thought of being rubbish scared me. Let’s just admit it – I was a scaredy cat.
In May 2014 I dived into Futurelearn and took the Start Writing Fiction Course run by the Open University. And I loved it. I wrote some rubbish and I wrote some not bad stuff. I enjoyed the fact that I could follow the modules and write, but also not get to know the people who would see my writing. I could write while being anonymous. When the course finished I missed it.
I did other courses and I especially loved the forensic studies ones, but I really missed writing. Writing for work just isn’t the same. It pays the bills, but fiction is fun.
So in May 2015 I bit the bullet. I signed up to the OU Creative Writing course, which started in October. I spent the summer not thinking about it much, I was too busy to worry, but when October came around I was excited and scared in equal measure.
Once the course started I realised that I should have done it a long time ago. I found myself consumed with writing, trying to keep a notebook, and looking for inspiration. When I wasn’t working I was writing. It has been non-stop for the last eight months.
I have learned to write with some degree of competence, I know this because my marks were good (please God my EMA is good too), but I also know I have a long way to go. I’ve dipped into poetry, fiction and life-writing and along the way I’ve made some lovely, talented friends.
My only regret is that I didn’t tell anyone I was an editor. It was a decision I didn’t take lightly, but I wanted to do this for me, as an escape from work. Writing is so different from editing that I also didn’t want any undue pressure put on me to perform. For that, if any of my writing pals see this, I apologise. I hope they understand.
So, we come back to Thursday. The EMA was posted – three times … the first on Monday through fear of dodgy internet connections, the second on Wednesday when I spotted a few typos, and the third and final time on Thursday morning when I decided to add a new reference to my bibliography.
With my heart in my mouth I realised that eight months worth of work was over, my final marks depend on this one piece of writing and I can, perhaps, call myself a writer.
If anyone is considering this course this is what I gained from doing it:
- A feeling of competence in my writing.
- An understanding of the different types of fiction available to writers.
- I managed to overcome my fear of showing other people my writing.
- I overcame my fear of having nothing to write.
- I met some wonderful, supportive and talented people with whom to share my ‘journey’ (oh, how I hate that word, but really, that’s what it was).
I also know now, more than ever, that writing is bloody hard work.
So what next?
I’m about to embark on an editing course I actually put aside to concentrate on writing (thankfully it’s a refresher course so it shouldn’t be too taxing).
I’m going to carry on writing. Including poetry. I was so impressed with the other students’ poetry I’m going to keep at it.
And I’m enrolling for A363, the Advanced Creative Writing Course.
Here’s to another mad year