Well. How did that happen? Three months have evaporated. It has been the most intense, all-consuming ‘thing’ that I’ve done in a very long time. It is a very long time since I worked full-time (then a 60-hour week, no wonder I quit!), and this was the expectation of the programme; the expectation that I tried my best to meet. It meant that some things went by the wayside – cleaning (shame!), dog walking (I missed that), exercise (my expanding waistline shows I missed that), and reading for pleasure. In its place it has been something super-stimulating, and for the first time in ages, I feel that I have something to say. I know that’s partly a response to recovery from the pneumothorax, but it’s also because I have my writing-mojo back. In this respect, I’ve already achieved what I hoped for going in.
The course design is so clever, with three distinct modules that all, ultimately, combine for the skills needed to be a professional writer. We’ve had huge deadlines and challenges – partly teaching us about a lifetime of deadlines and the realities of saying ‘yes’ to something when you’ve only got half an idea. We’ve studied different ‘elements’ of narrative, from genre, to setting, character, structure, dialogue.. and weekly tasks to try them out. We’ve studied scripts, screenplays, short stories, non-fiction. We’ve completed book reviews, film reviews, blog posts, given pitches, presentations on the industry… AND THEN, the massive end of term portfolio, totalling 16,500 words.
It’s no wonder that I crawled to the end of term.
We have a gap of six weeks until we go back to the seminar rooms, but the daily writing is to continue. There are books to be read. Thoughts to be thought. Creative ideas to play with. For me too, there’s a lot of long dog walks to catch up on, and some serious exercise to do. This lung won’t recover without being pushed, even if my mind is aflame.