The past few Wednesday mornings, I've been attending a Creative Writing course at our local Arts Centre. It's not been the most pleasant of experiences for me and on the whole the quality of my work there hasn't even been up to the standard of this blog. I wasn't sure if the course was the right one before I started, but it did say it covered non-fiction and as I haven't the first idea about writing (and I'm always keen to learn and improve), I decided to take the plunge.
Today's the last session and I've been trying to decide whether to return next term. Last week the tutor announced a radical revamp of the proposed course based on the needs of her students. A pity it didn't happen earlier. Whilst it sounds much better, I'm not sure the delivery will be executed. That'll be a no then. Creative writing wise, I got much more out of November's Your Messages project and the best piece I've written for the course itself was about having writer's block for the set homework! I've also been doing some snooping around the internet: I do envy Garden Wise Guy's attendance at the USA's Garden Writers Association symposium last September as it looked just the kind of thing I'm looking for. The closest I've found so far in the UK is the Arvon Foundation's Nature Writing course but the dates for next year aren't available yet. It's a bit pricey too, so I need to be sure I'd get a lot out of it.
So what to do next? I've discovered this year that I want to write and to write well, but I've got so much to learn. What you've seen so far is lots of quantity from a first-time writer who still hasn't a clue what it's all about and writes by instinct. I'm drawn to web content and garden writing, so perhaps I need to add some anthologies to my Christmas wish list so I can learn from the great and the good. A subscription to Hortus, some Ursula Buchan et al., and a re-read of all my Christopher Lloyd (the first garden writer I really started taking note of) are on the cards for the new year. But I'm worried my writing's not original or interesting enough for a wider audience, so today I'm all a dither and undecided about whether to continue at all. Perhaps I'll feel better once the course is over...
For further articles on the theme of U, do visit the ABC Wednesday Blog.
Update: Thanks very much for all your comments, I wasn't fishing for compliments, though of course they're much appreciated. This was just a way of ordering my thoughts from the past few weeks. That's the great thing about taking part in ABC Wednesday and grappling with the more 'difficult' letters, it allows you to try out new things and directions. Thanks too for all your suggestions, I'll be keeping them in mind. The other thing I've worked out at this morning's class is that I'm afraid of losing my 'voice' and will cease to be me if I try to 'learn' about writing. Your tips about never stopping from looking, lots of practice and writing from the heart should I hope, help to prevent that from happening.