So I’ve bitten the bullet, jumped back on the horse and a whole bunch of other clichés and will be returning to formal study in March. Specifically a post-graduate creative writing course, perhaps with a touch of research near the end if I do well enough which will help me get that elusive novel(la) in me finished. Why, you ask? For one it’s very close by. But that’s just me being flippant.
Formal study carves out time. It sets it aside and signifies to me and everyone else. Hey I’m busy THIS IS IMPORTANT. A course has demands. Luckily its demands and my desires are pretty much the same. I want to write and be published, the course wants writers to learn and succeed through finishing assignments and tasks which hopefully will result in creative projects that are publishable. Yay for congruence.
It’s also about community. Students in the same course have commonalities, a shared passion. It’s creating a network and building confidence through exploring similar experiences and knowledge – and through gaining it.
Writing, editing, publishing – the entire industry in Australia is an intensely competitive pond full of humongous fish while I’m not even an emerging minnow. A student is a minnow with help, with slightly bigger fish doing the educating and introducing the possibility of linking to industry types who are the biggest fish of all. It’s worked for me before and I’m hoping it will work again.
Finally, I know me. I like the classroom experience and I like talking about writing and books and stuff. I know I sometimes require feedback and a push. Critical appraisal in group situations is tough, but it helps. The formal learning thing is also about direction, finding out where I’m at, where I should be heading. Being mentored is good for the soul.
Also I get a qualification. I’ll have Mastered an Art if you will. This could lead anywhere and that is both terrifying and astounding and cool.