The image is of the latest in a series of ridiculous doodles and scribbles I have made in a Creative Writing workshop. Now, I’m not here to slate them entirely. It ain’t so bad. I am actually feeling pretty conflicted about the course at the minute. But I figured I write about it, anybody considering doing one can find out what’s it’s like…whatever.
After a lifetime of writing and not being terrible at it, I decided to pursue a Creative Writing and Film Studies course in 2011. I wanted to take Film because it is my main passion in life and I adore writing about it, and I wanted to take Creative Writing because I wanted structure and to learn about the industry. I have had that, but it’s unusual.
Creative Writing has given me the drive and the motivation to write every day. I get tasks to do and even if I get nothing from them, at least I am writing. At least I have somebody breathing down my neck constantly forcing me to write. Otherwise, I would be a slob in a onesie drinking coffee all day and blogging about my day. (Secret: I still am a slob in a onesie drinking coffee and blogging about my day). But it is often unstructured. The lectures are lazy, we more often than not get shown slides with quotes on and shown short movies or read short stories that hold little interest to us. Basically, things that we could learn at home. The workshop is more useful, it is time to get feedback and to get started on some writing. The lack of formal academic structure usually makes me drift off a bit, unlike in Film which is tough and requires my attention.
Maybe I have the attention span of a two year old. Maybe I can’t learn on my own. But if you’re like me and you need real structure and discipline to get on with shit, maybe Creative Writing isn’t the best kind of option. And the fact remains, sadly, that you cannot be taught to write. If you’re bad you’re bad and wasting three years and 18,000 trying to learn to be good is going to be a huge waste of time and money. I don’t know. Maybe I’m jaded. Or maybe I’ve seen enough inspirational quotes and terrible poetry to last me a lifetime.