So there I was utterly convinced (and there was no changing my mind about this) that in order for me to be any sort of writer I must have some writing related qualifications under my belt.
I cannot believe what an idiot I’ve been. I honestly thought a Creative writing Diploma or a Degree in English was the only way I was ever going to improve. The truth, though, is that they made my writing worse up to the point of there being no writing at all.
There’s something about being told how to do something and learning the technicalities of it versus actually doing the thing you’re learning about. These courses just made me scratch my head and say “Qué”? (I also felt like I needed a degree just to do a degree). And creative writing is what it is writing creatively so how can formulas and methods live happily by the side of that creativeness and imagination?… It can’t – at least I don’t think it can. And no amount of technical know-how is going to make you produce something that, in essence, is a right-brained process. It’s like oil and water – they just don’t mix.
So there I was thinking that there must be something seriously wrong with me because I couldn’t grasp all of these terminologies, guidelines, rules, structures and formulas and I was left feeling like a total failure. In short: These writing courses did the complete opposite of what I originally wanted them to do and they made my self-doubt and writers block a 100 times worse.
And here I am now, on the road to regaining my sanity. And trying to do what I was doing before all this ‘qualification necessity’ madness began: So I’m sitting down and I’m writing – which was all I needed to do in the first place (duh).
I’ve looked back over my blog to the stories I’ve wrote in the early days and most are shockingly bad! But, that’s expected so I’m not too upset and I feel quite good about the progress I’ve made (my writing sucks less! – I still suck, just not as much!). And, the most important thing is that I am still learning – maybe not from doing a Uni course, but actively in other ways which suit me.
So…. I had bit of a ‘tale-between-the-legs’ feeling before I wrote this purely because I didn’t listen to everyone who said I was good enough. So, at the moment, I’m a bit sheepish.
So, on that note, Thank You very much for having a read, leave me a comment if you wish and hopefully I will ‘see’ you back here very soon!
I’ve started an online specialization course in Creative Writing from Wesleyan University which runs for about 6 months. We are in the 2nd week, but I can still go at my own pace as long as the assignments are in by the due dates.
For me this is the most suitable option as I don’t have to travel for 90 minutes – and late at night – to the closest college around. Or get into 1000’s of pounds worth of debt going to Uni for a degree. Not only that, there is very little choice of what specifically you want to study, the Creative Writing degrees contain many elements that are of no interest.
No, studying this way is perfect for me…. And finding an appropriate course has been a long time coming – I believe I wrote about this subject over 6 – 12 months ago. So, yes, it’s taken a while. But finally! I have found the ideal course! (there’s a ‘moral of the story’ in that: never give up on what you want 🙂 )
So I’m all happy and all excited and feeling very fortunate to have finally found something where I actually learn some things in what I like doing. And it feels right, I know I’m going to complete it – the course content is too valuable not to.
So, hopefully my confidence and self-belief will grow and I become more proficient and better as a writer!
Have a great rest of weekend guys and Thanks for reading! 🙂 🙂 🙂
I’ve been crippled with writer’s block again and I now am aware that there are underlying factors which are fuelling this latest bout. The main underlying root issues are insecurity, self-doubt and feeling I’m just plain not good enough to be a writer. And I have shied away from writing anything at all.
I read an article today on writer’s block and one of the suggestions was to write a blog post, something differing from the usual writing form, and here I am… again (I have written about this problem before when inspiration and creativity hasn’t been coming).
It’s all well and good being advised to ‘just write’, but at times like this I find it too hard and stepping back and writing a bit of non-fiction like this may contribute as ‘just writing’ while I wait until my creative juices start flowing again and I’m able to pen a story. And… I need to stop trying to compare myself to published authors and in turn stop feeling like I will never be as good as them: it’s a daft feeling to have, and totally pointless.
I’ve been here before and I came through it before. I have to remind myself of that.
Maybe this short post and publishing ‘something’ on my blog will light a little spark. There are ideas whirling around my mind but the perceived inadequacy has been very overpowering. It’s won out and I really don’t want it to. Perhaps writing this is a ‘good enough’ start and more writing ideas will come eventually.
Writers block is not a fun place to be in, but knowing that there are others who have the same scenario, in a roundabout way, helps, especially if they have ideas on how to break free from it.
I have just reached my 300 words goal for this post – I didn’t believe I would be able to, but alas I have and if you wish to read the article I did today, maybe bookmark it for a time when you may be feeling very stuck too… just click on this link here and it will take you to Literautas.com’s post ‘How to overcome Writers Block‘ – a great and helpful article.
Thanks for reading guys, see you again soon, and have a great rest of week and weekend 🙂
My mind has been jumping lately, going in directions that are spurring me forward on one hand, but also wrecking total havoc with my concentration on the other.
Well, I entered my first ever writing competition for a UK writing magazine… I expect to get nowhere (really!), but it felt good giving it a go and left me feeling proud when I hit the send button (it was good to see something through to the end).
Happily, they run a comp every month and I will keep entering as it’s a new step forward. The word counts are a tad longer than what I write here, and I have to see it as gaining a bit more writing experience in another way.
Another distraction has been my willing decision to go and get my Creative Writing degree. I’ve applied to Adult ED for an Access to Higher Education course and, hopefully, I’ll be accepted, and then it’s on to Uni: That’s the plan anyway! Whether it goes as smoothly as that is another matter entirely! We’ll see.
I’m glad to be making ‘Writing’ progress: The comp, the course; all with the goal in mind to become a better/good writer. It’s all very exciting – although starting college fills me with absolute dread – It still feels good to be making plans.
Okay folks, I will leave it here, thanks for reading, leave a comment if you wish and enjoy your week!
Do you have to have a Degree in English to be a Writer/Author?… I hope not, as I certainly do not have one and yesterday my whole thinking process, believing I could only make it if I did have a Degree, left me feeling depressed. But…
I aired this issue with my Father today, starting with my regret at not studying hard enough at School, plus not getting good grades in English. So, feeling down, I went on to ask him if he thinks I could still write and he was very pragmatic and told me that an English Degree wasn’t necessary, how anyone from any walk of life could be and are authors. A couple of examples he gave was retired folk, housewives and general writing hobbyists with less formal education Re; a University Degree. Dad really believes this (so he wasn’t just being nice because I’m his daughter!).
I love writing – there’s such a sense of achievement and it’s challenging to push myself more and more with each story I write. I don’t see it as a chore (except for the proofreading, editing, category and tag selecting etc…), and it’s the creative side of my nature that’s taken to it over other areas I’ve done in the past like paint.
So, is going to Uni and getting a BA in English the only way to become good enough? It may be: It would help with learning sentence structure, word placement, grammar and so on, but it wouldn’t help if there is a lack of inspiration and drive to write already present. But, if there is, would getting that Degree increase chances of success? (Reading the novel I am right now from an author who studied at Oxford, isn’t helping much).
Maybe the less formally educated makes for trying that bit harder, but I will always envy those whose command of English comes more smoothly and easily. All I can do is keep writing, keep working at it and hope that what I write, degree or no degree, will still help me progress in my writing career.
Thanks for reading guys, and as always, you’re more than welcome to leave your thoughts.
The feeling to write about books has grabbed me, and I’ve a lot to say. I have devided the post up to highlight my various points. Before I start though, I wish to say that I hope you find this post somewhat relatable, perhaps useful, and maybe even eye-opening. I’m covering varying ‘Booky topics’, and I really hope you enjoy reading 🙂
Unfair? Book prices: (This topic links loosely into the rest of this post) My response to this unjust area is: “Are you kidding me”. I have read some beyond fantastic low cost books that are truly amazing. And, on the flip side, I have read some high-priced shockers that are utterly apalling.
And these Famous ‘Made It’ authors. Again, My response: “You’ve got to be joking”. How, how, how do these well known authors get away with writing such, at times, utter tripe. ‘Sheep’ is one of the conclusions I am coming to: One buy’s one book, likes it, spreads the word, and it turns into a follow-the-leader scenario. And then some of the sheep-folk are too uneasy about giving one another their real opinion (that’s my cynical view).
My less than skeptical stance on this, is that the ‘Made It’ authors are actually getting it right somehow in appealing to the popular masses and I’m the one who’s the problem and overlooking something crucial (though I’m yet to find that variable).
E-Book Authors: What I dislike about some ‘Kindle’ authors (for eg,)… Is that so many of their books begin with ‘Book 1’ or ‘Part 1’ and you then notice how the price hikes up for the subsequent Parts. Not only that, these ‘books’ are way too short, so by the time you have bought all 5, or however many, Parts, you find that they could have easily been packed into one whole book in the first place and you could have saved a small fortune. (Yes, I know authors have to make a living, but when you add it all up price-wise, you are paying a lot more than the cost of a shop-bought paperback, hence, is it really less expensive to buy digital?).
Plus, Kindle books are DRM* protected so you don’t actually ownthe book or books you have just paid for! Kindle can remove a book, that you have purchased, from your device, if there’s a need to, at any time. And, no, you don’t get a refund. (*Digital Rights Management – they OWN the book, not you – surprise!).
Novels with ‘Praise’ on the covers by other authors: I Do Not Trust Them. Are they being paid to say how great a book is when in reality, the book that is deemed so great, is actually poorly written, unengaging and plain rubbish. (Not all, of course, but many I have attempted to read left me only to be horrified at how bad they are).
On a nicer note, Libraries: A-Mazing Places. Everyone ought to be signed up to their local library. Free books to read, many, many of the newest releases. They haven’t got a book you want in? They will purchase it for you, again, at no cost to you (or a tiny fee, like 80p) How can you go wrong with a Library in that case…You can’t.
So, to sum up: The pricing in the book world is biased. Some novels deserve a higher asking price, but many don’t (that’s my view) There are some real gems out there to be read, you just have to find them. And finally, visit the library – it’s free to read as well as being a nice place to be in.
I hope you got a little something out of this post. I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts so feel free to do so. And a big thanks for reading!