Friday, 15 October 2010

That was a great holiday. Now, moving on...

Yes, it was.  Barbados was excellent.  But as with all things, if I didn't manage to blog about it at the time, it just doesn't get blogged.  Too late.  The moment's gone.  And all that.  I'll post some pictures tonight, but you'll all have seen them anyway, because you all know me on FB!  But it does seem the right and fitting thing to do for my blog, so I'll do that.

But I have made a decision while I've been sitting here in childfree peace this morning.  I was flitting about the internet, trying to find some kind of nice creative writing course to help me find my motivation - I always write more productively and inspirationally when I've got deadlines you see.  Deadlines are my friends.  (This morning I was reading Stephen Fry's book, and he quoted Douglas Adams on deadlines: 'I love deadlines, I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.')  So I had a look for some information on short courses at the local college.  There seem to be lots of them.  I think I will probably enrol on a five week evening course to start with, and see how that goes.  Then proceed from there.  I mean, is there really any point in sitting about, by myself, isolated and grumpy and clueless, trying to write a novel without any help from anyone else?  I just can't do it.  I need other people at least to gee me along.  I think I have the talent, but I need kicks up the bum.  Little courses really help with that.

Then I thought I'd just pop along to the Lancaster University website and see what they have on offer in the way of Creative Writing courses.  Well, the MA in Creative Writing leapt off the 'page' at me.  It actually punched me right in the nose, stung a bit and made my eyes water.  I guess I've always known that I should do it.  I looked at the information on the course a couple of years ago, but instantly disregarded it, because it was too expensive.  As you will imagine, it's even more expensive now, as fees increase every year.  Tt.  Should have done it two years ago!  But, ah, I didn't, so never mind.  I could do it next year.  I could.  It's a lot of money, and it's money that I just do not have.  But I could find it.  Surely?  Money can be found, when it's really needed, can't it?  I could borrow it.  I could borrow some of it from the Student Loans Company.  I could borrow some from Kev.  But then I wouldn't really like to do that because I'd probably end up just not paying him back, and that would be like stealing!  £3,000 per year is what's required.  I'll find it, I will.

Anyway, expense aside, I think the course would be perfect for me.  It's an online course (I wouldn't be able to do the campus taught one, because I have to be around for the kiddies just now), and it's all about critiquing each others' work and conferencing and the odd summer school, and just generally being part of a writing community.  I need that.  I've spent the past few months writing in a completely isolated kind of way, and it's really getting to me.  Darn it, I'm just lonely in my little writing bubble!  Actually, it's more of a writing cell - a plastic one, like the one that Magneto's locked in in X Men, all cubey, see-through and sharp-edged.  I do quite like it, if truth be told, so rather than come out of my cell, I would quite like to invite people in and have a little party.  Some cakes and tea, and maybe some scones with clotted cream. Anyone fancy it?  Ooh, I haven't had scones with clotted cream for a long time - maybe I'll have some now that I don't care what my tummy looks like in a bikini!

So, it's a decision to apply for the MA in Creative Writing (distance learning) at the Lancaster University.  That's what I've made, just a decision to apply.  That's excitement enough for one day.  The next decision will be how to approach the long wait that lies between posting the application and receiving notification of the outcome.  Should I tell myself that I almost certainly won't even get onto the course?  Or should I be more positive and assume that I will?  And if I assume that I will, should I also tell myself that getting funding will be no problem?  Positivity is usually what I insist on from myself.  But in this case, positivity might make things more painful if this new little seed of a dream gets damp over the winter and ends up being mouldy and no good for planting.  Hmm.  Well.  I guess I should be neither positive, nor negative.  I should just be pragmatic and get on with it.

Ooh, exciting!

Ahem, nope.  Not exciting, just nothing.  Just a wait-and-see thing.  Get a grip.


Stop it.

Sorry.  (Ooh!)

Oh, but I will definitely do the November evening course, of course.  That sounds like something useful.  The tutor phoned me before, and told me what she's planning to teach in those short ten hours.  She's going to look at some problem areas of writing, such as characterisation, realistic dialogue, POV (point of view), and things like that.  And she also wants to try a little poetry (urgh!), and maybe, if there's time, a little play with play writing.  It sounds good.  And I believe that people tend to do the course a few times, and build on what they learnt previously.  I don't know if I'll do that or perhaps enrol on a longer course in the new year.  We'll see.  Either way, it will give me some deadlines, which I love, and it will get me talking to some other writers.  The tutor said that the MA is brilliant (well, was brilliant twenty years ago when she did it), and that it would be very good for helping me to take myself more seriously as a writer.  That's just what I need.  Hey, and I wouldn't mind having a Masters either!

Right-o, friendies :)  Off to take a look at something I'm working on for a wee competition.  Have a nice weekend...

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