After reading THIS great article by Fay Weldon I feel provoked to say a few words about Creative Writing, particularly studying it at undergrad level.
I have to admit, to myself mostly, that I was sceptical about the whole thing. My first choice had been music, and that hadn’t worked out, essentially I was having a life crisis at 17. That was until my photography tutor told me that I should study writing. She said I was good with words and I liked to string things together, essentially what I’d tried to do with my images and failed, scrapping through by giving ridiculous and long explanations and writing essay’s (in both photography and music) to explain what I was trying to express without words. Looking back I can’t understand why words weren’t good enough, now they are. I spoke with my literature tutor who was happy I was going to pursue reading but she was sure I’d get bored with it, so a joint degree was a brilliant option. That’s how I ended up writing.
Of course there’s the old ‘I’ve always written’, ‘it’s part of who I am’ and they are true, I have a million stories, poems and snippets written all over the attic boxes but it wasn’t until writing was given that priority that I thought seriously enough about it. Words are what we do, they are all around us. Conversation separated us from the animals, or something like that. If you can be taught to speak, you can be taught to write, and I think everyone should. Then maybe we will avoid those essay facebook status’, for instance,twitter is great, it forces you to put an entire rant into 150 characters! (unless you cheat like me and put See last post at the end of everything)
In music and photography they teach you how to put your own expression into the act,to take the technique that you’ve been taught and the passion that inspired you and combine them to produce your masterpiece of the moment. So why shouldn’t they do this for writing. We express ourselves daily through facebook, twitter, email, text and on the phone with words, it makes sense for us to be able to tailor those words effectively.
One day, when it’s all over, I’ll write something insightful about writing at university level, for now, onwards with the Masters in Creative Writing.