So, I’ve not posted for a while…I know you’re surprised by that. This time, I have a really valid reason. I promise!! I just finished a writing workshop. So, I’ve been working on my writing while not actually writing here.
I had been looking for a writing class off and on for quite a while. I kept looking at the local community college, thinking that was the most likely place to find this. I was unsuccessful. They seemed to want me to enroll. I didn’t want to be a “student”. I have a Bachelor’s degree, I don’t believe an AA is going to do anything for me at this point. I was looking for a personal enrichment course. I just couldn’t seem to find it. I looked at the community college in the next county; a friend of mine works there. I assumed that this wasn’t that strange of a request. It appears that it was. Fast forward to about two months ago. I was sitting in the cigar shop with one of the guys that works here part time, who’s main job is on staff at the local University. He was discussing his job with one of the customers and mentioned that his group was in charge of continuing education. There was a figurative and literal (or so it seemed) light bulb above my head. While he was in conversation, I was on their web site on my phone, and had found the class I ended up taking.
I hemmed and hawed for a while. I didn’t want to commit. It was odd. I was looking for an out. For no particular reason other than self-doubt. I got over that in a couple of hours though, and enrolled. The conversation happened on a Sunday, and the class started on a Wednesday. It was a perfect timing, I was in it before I really had a chance to talk myself out of it.
The class was phenomenal. I learned almost immediately that the self-doubt is a common trait among writers, not just beginning writers. The class gave us exercises to overcome the doubt, and exercises to improve the writing.
Our main assignment for the class was to write a 500-word story. We could either write a short story or provide the first 500 words of a longer piece. I chose the latter. I had a scene idea in my head for months prior to ever finding the class. I just didn’t know what to do with it. I was fighting my initial thoughts of what it was going to be or should be. I didn’t really believe, before the class, that it was valid, or worthy, or something. One of the main take-aways for me from the class is that the only way to fail at writing, is not to write, or to stop writing. I’ve learned, or am trying to learn and apply, is that my ideas are as valid, and as “good” as anyone else’s, My writing has to satisfy me, and be valid and credible to me before it can be valid or credible to anyone else first. I need to let the stories be what they are going to be.
Another big take-away is that I can share my writing with others. Since the class started, I’ve been very open about the fact that I am writing and have even shared it with several people both in the writing class and others that I have known for years. All of the feedback has been positive. I am gaining a lot of confidence as a writer, and as a person.
I’ll post the writing assignment as the next post in the blog, below.
One other point about the class, is that I really enjoyed being back in class. The school, and it’s online partner that offered the course also have a couple of courses on WordPress, the software I use on this site, and I’m going to enroll in those courses next. They start in two weeks’ time, so the site updates I promised a few posts ago are forthcoming. I’m probably going to use my own site as the test bed for the course, so it may actually get worse before it gets better. 🙂