Creative writing course

Yesterday I signed up for the five-week Creative Writing Stage 1 course that's offered by the Sydney Writers' Centre in Rozelle. I'll be doing the course online which will save me having to travel to classes that I can't attend anyway because I work until 7pm everyday. The course starts on 6 April and finishes around mid-May, about the time when I commence long-service leave. Creative writing is not necessarily where I see myself going as a writer but I feel I need to stimulate or crack open some vestige of objective imagination within me if I wish to write the book that I'm hoping to get started by May. The book will likely be about myself really, vignettes of a life lived that hopefully I can coalesce into some quasi-meaningful tome, beat, scene. Until then I'll put myself through the levers of a five-week course and see what kind of fictional story I can concoct by horses-for-course's end. That said, I'm looking forward to doing this course and to discover if I've got what it takes to write creative fiction!

The only course prerequisite is to have read Harper Lee's
To Kill a Mockingbird. I decided to buy the book rather than borrow it from a library (it's not held at my library! ;) as, being the dedicated Creative Writing student I aspire to be, I'll be pencilling notes and underlining ad infinitum. I bought the book from UNSW bookshop where they always give me a reasonably healthy discount on the RRP, just one of the many small perks of working in the university environment.

I chuckled to myself when I bought the book thinking back to that episode of 'Seinfeld' when George Constanza joined a book club for the sole purpose of meeting women. I mean, my motivation is purely to write, but it's George's earnestness yet lack of dedication to his reading that I remember well. I'm a good reader, but I'm not a
great reader, and I'm arguably a better writer than I am reader although that's not saying much. As I flicked through the fresh pages of To Kill a Mockingbird I was hoping very much that it would be an enthralling read as I don't wish to go through a writing course not having read the prerequisite text!! When I studied English at Uni all those years ago there were some texts I just could not get through for the life of me. Miraculously I always passed the essays and exams and often got credit-grades for them, my perception and ability to construct an argument in essays always got me through the finish line.

Since starting the blog almost a year ago (I plan to have a one-year anniversary party yes) I've accelerated my reading and now have a large backlog of books I wish to read. Aside from Harper Lee's book these include Don Walker's
Shots, Anais Nin's Henry & June, and Augusten Burroughs' Dry. I'm reading the latter's Running with Scissors now that I received for my birthday recently. It's a delightfully written story!! I feel very much for Augusten's character for in similar ways I was a much maligned and lonely boy in those early-teen years. Augusten transforms a sad and tragic reality into a delightfully warm and almost cheerily-written story, as far as I've read. The characters shine through and speak volumes, one warms to them wholly which is perhaps why the book is a best-seller, it has that spark of universal appeal. I loved the film too, particularly Annette Bening's character.

So now, I'll post this blog, lie on my bed and continue with the
Running with Scissors adventure!


eek said…
I read To Kill a Mockingbird in high school (many, many years ago!) and I don't recall it being difficult to get through.

When I studied English at Uni all those years ago there were some texts I just could not get through for the life of me.

I did the same. I took perverse pride in being able to get excellent grades without reading the many of the books. I'd start to read all of them, but if I bogged down and found them really dull, I'd quit. I found I could learn enough from the in-class discussion to write good essays and pass exams. It wasn't just lit classes either -- I was so broke I could often not afford the class textbooks, so I ended up not reading the course material for most history and political science classes either. I always went to the classes though, so I got enough that way to do very well.
Korki Buchek said…
I find that signing up for any course involving the English language will directly or indirectly help with the writing process. A few years ago I signed up for a University of Cambridge CELTA Course with a view to teaching English overseas. I can say this has indirectly helped in the writing process!!
I too read "To kill a mockingbird" at high school, think it was Year 10. I was quite impressed by it as far as I can recall but then again, I was an impressionable child...

And I love that Seinfeld episode with George "attempting" to read Breakfast at Tiffany's but ending up watching the movie at some strangers' house, spilling drink on the sofa in the process. So George. LOL!!!

Popular posts from this blog

Barry Long's autobiography

Article: Ringside Cold Chisel

Neil Finn: a man I love, a man I hate