I usually use the hashtag, #writingcraft for my first post of the month. Be that as it may, I found the hashtag, #amwriting a little more appropriate for the subject this time. You may not think so at first but please bear with me.
As I’ve told you, I’ve been taking a free online course at OpenLearn, which, by the way, is part of The Open University in England. [It’s accredited too.] I decided to try this because my mother told me she thought I needed to brush up on my creative writing skills. Let me tell you, when she told me this, it cut down to the bone. True, I don’t look at my style book often enough. I do have more time to read than I’m currently using so I could be reading about writing. Still, I thought I had a halfway good grasp on the English language and somewhat of a talent for writing.
Are you wondering why my mother’s words have afflicted me so much? It’s because if there is one topic she is an expert at, it’s the written English language. She should have continued in college and become an editor. She could have done it all: development, structural, copy, and proofreading. She looked over every paper I handed in all the way up through high school. It’s one of the reasons I got straight A’s in my English classes.
Enrolling in these classes ended up being a Godsend. Even though I was apprehensive at first, It didn’t take me long to enjoy the classes and pick up tidbits of knowledge I had either forgotten or had missed altogether during my two years of college. [That’s right, I didn’t achieve a four-year degree.]
The other day I astounded myself. I sat here happily doing an outline of a character in great detail. The last time I had that attitude about any of the preliminary work back in 2014.
With each class I participate in I can feel the momentum building inside me. The course is acting as a catalyst for me even though much of what is being taught I already know. The dither I was in is almost completely gone now. The underlying feeling of disorder has dwindled. The forever distractions of noise don’t seem to be bothering me anymore.
I can even spend time contemplating different aspects of my WiP without worrying about the time I’m using up not actually writing. This is huge for me because there are times when I need to play out a scene in my head to make sure it’s going to work the way I want it to. Having that misgiving about the time I use to confirm my plan for the passage disrupted that very time so it wasn’t as firmly resolved. I was stuck.
Was this act of taking more courses a way for me to alleviate feelings of low confidence in myself? Yes, I believe so. When I’m sure of myself, I have a tendency to be brash more often, which is, in my opinion, a good thing when you’re a writer.
These days I write with more boldness and spunk and, by doing so, I’m enjoying it a lot more.
What do you do to get motivated?
“I want to take my rightful share of life by force, I want to give lavishly, I want love to flow from my heart, to ripen and bear fruit. There are many horizons that must be visited, fruit that must be plucked, books read, and white pages in the scrolls of life to be inscribed with vivid sentences in a bold hand.”
― Tayeb Salih, Season of Migration to the North