Tuesday, 30 September 2008

But my brain likes its cage... it's cosy!

Hmm, I feel I may have to try and be a bit more organised. So, I registered for A215 late. This was not my fault (admittedly I faffed about until the very last day for signing up but I like to think I was simply making a considered decision...). Nevertheless, I rocked up to the OU website at the beginning of the month, only to find the course was full.

Not happy.

Seriously, this is an online course, how can it fill up? How many people can there be clamouring to take this course. Plenty, I guess. Anyway, I put myself on the waiting list for the course and awaited news of a place. I won't bore you with how I got one (though it is truly an epic tale) but the upshot is that I received the course materials less than a week before the course start date.

Now, being a stupid person, I thought this was fine, as I would have plenty of time to prepare before getting to work. Nope. All the clever, organised, seriously irritating people were starting already, skipping ahead with their huge and creative brains in tow. To put this in context, while I am halfway through chapter one of the workbook (which, btw, is where the course guide says I should be), most other people appear to be anywhere from chapter two to (freaks!) chapter four. C'mon, I'm meant to be a swot but that's just showing off. Sigh.

Anyway, going at my own pace, I'm currently enjoying the wonder of 'freewriting'. This is, in essence, when you take a word or phrase as a jumping-off point and proceed to let your brain vomit its contents directly onto the page, without the internal editor getting any say in the process. This is designed in order to free your creative subconscious and reveal unexpected ideas. Have I mentioned I'm a control freak? I am not particularly good at this technique. I'm a English graduate. My internal monologue is organised into structured and properly punctuated sentences, so trying to let myself ramble without self-editing is nigh-on impossible. Nevertheless, see below for an example of my ineptitude - feel free to scratch your heads as to why I think I can do this.

I wish I had said... well, I wish I had said anything actually. Gibberish would have done. A perfectly composed, beautifully moving, yet charmingly succinct haiku might have helped. Instead, I maintained an outwardly stony, priggish, stubborn silence, in fact driven more by my embarrassment and awkwardness than anything else. I’m always driven by those neurotic traits, so completely bloody paralysed by the fear of looking stupid or frozen by awkward silence that I end up getting nothing I want. And yet, most relationships conclude with dislike because I seem composed, aloof and coldly uncaring. Held up so stiff and so still by the rod of fear that runs through me that I cannot move in any direction. I’m sure I seem like a bitch. I am only a bitch when I want to be one. When I am a bitch I am loud and direct and I am full eye contact and sharp consonants. When you think I am a bitch because I have disappeared and left you with a bad taste in your mouth, it is because I cannot make the move to repair things. I can’t can’t can’t can’t can’t can’t. Because I know you are thinking I am a bitch and I can see the look on your face with every angry line etched into my mind’s eye and I am a coward and I will hide until you go away.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Starting Out

Another blank page. What am I thinking, confronting myself with a blog to fill along with everything else? Ok, I'm just going to ramble for a bit, let you know what the plan is. Apparently all writers should have a blog (all the better to lure poor, unsuspecting fools - no offence - to pay attention to us!) and I've been waiting for an opportunity to start my own up. Yesterday, I officially started my second course with the Open University - A215 'Creative Writing' - so I thought I would take this chance to chronicle my experiences and also get my writing out into the world.

So, that's what you have to look forward to (or ignore completely, depending on how obnoxious/untalented I come across as). Lots of whining about how difficult it is to find inspiration and hopefully some semi-decent writing. With any luck I'll also be able to give a flavour of what the course is like, for anybody considering taking it. Right, now I've set myself up, I'd better do some work so I've actually got something to talk about in my next post. Wish me luck.