Thursday, 12 May 2011

Wow, 200 blog posts

I was going to celebrate the end of A363 - I have finally finished the EMA - but then I noticed this was post 200. I can't believe I wrote my first post in July 2009. Such a lot has happened since then! I started keeping a blog because until that point, I had so little confidence in my writing I didn't dare submit work for marking. With great trepidation, I signed up a course with the Open College of the Arts and the Open University for their writing courses. This is what I said:

Beginning A215

Well, after a couple of years of procrastinating, I have signed up for a creative writing course with the Open University, and am impatiently searching the internet for clues. Clues that will help me maintain the bubble of hope and optimism that getting a whole exercise book full of 'A's in English at school (1973) will create. "You're really good at writing, you should write a book!" Thanks, Grandma. Now I'm ready for someone else's opinion. As long as it's very, very gentle and kind. Encouraging. Having done a BSc with the OU I am fairly sure how to prepare for, and deliver on a science course. So I had a sneak look at 2008's assignment booklet and it's scary. This may turn out to be a bit of an adventure, for my self-esteem as well as my imagination.
Well, it turned out to be more of a raft ride down the rapids of creative writing courses - I passed A215 with distinction and did the same with the OCA. I found out I really can write fiction and may one day complete a book to a decent standard. I'm pretty good, for a beginner at poetry, too. Life-writing is difficult, and drama impossible. I have no real talent for short stories, because they are incredibly hard to write. So all you short story writers out there - wow, superpower. I'm on course for a distinction with A363 and I intend to pass my MA this year, having done  most of the taught part. 

So, where does a blog fit in? This week, I had the pleasure of hearing Candy Gourlay speak about her experience of getting noticed, getting published...and the experience she has had had promoting her wonderful book (and her writing generally). Her lovely blog, Notes From the Slushpile, has been an inspiration for a couple of years, and she also showed us around her website. I had also read her gorgeous novel, Tall Story, which I can recommend to children everywhere (and a few grown ups too). Candy's blog posts inspired me to keep going, keep writing, and keep blogging. Some of the people I have 'met' through the blog have taught me a great deal about writing. I started my blog to record my journey, essentially for me. It's been much more positive than belly button gazing, and I think of it as lighting candles down a very rocky and dark path. If I stumble into a literary ravine or sink into a word swamp, at least you won't make the same mistake that I did!
So, if you are reading this...May your books grow like roses and your pockets always have chocolate.


  1. Aww, feeling all warm and cuddly towards you!

  2. What happened to my comments!?! Blogger had a bit of a breakdown!

  3. Congratulations on your 200th post! I wish I'd been able to make Candy but thanks for introduction to her blog.