This semester I am taking a creative writing class. The idea of writing a book has ghosted around in the back of my mind for years, but I found the thought of execution daunting and overwhelming, and I shh-ed it away.”Yes, one day.” I knew fully-well that day would likely never come. But, like good and meant to be ghosts, they don’t go away, and come back regularly, knocking on the mind’s door and testing the waters. I became increasingly brimming with ‘want’ and equally increased impatience of ‘I really don’t know of how to to do it!’. Over the summer, I listened to a short course on creative live. “Write your story” with this surprisingly mesmerizing instructor, Joshua Mohr, who made the idea of crafting a story look doable. This course increased my understanding significantly and planted a seed of confidence that this could be fun. I started to played with the idea of taking a university creative writing class. Just get my feet wet. Maybe, just the first few classes?
I almost talked myself out of it again, 15min before the class. But then I headed to the classroom. It was a small. I had expected a large lecture hall with hundreds of students, so I could squeeze in, in the back, and hide. But it was a fairly small class room, 25 students at most, and these are typically filled to the brim. Auditing means you need to sit on the floor. I almost turned around on my heels again, leaving the whole idea behind. The students were still streaming in, and a few seats were left as I could see through the loophole of the door. The instructor arrived, looking at me with a quizzing look of “can I help you? are you lost?” but he did not say a word. I asked if I could audit the class, blablabla. He looked at me, intrigued and lightly amused, and without other ado he ushered me in.
And that is how it started.
I am taking a writing class.
I had no idea what to expect. I don’t have a desk full of first drafts that just need rewriting. I don’t have any drafts. Actually, I never really have written anything (as in fiction).
We got a list of reading material, books that should be read from a writer’s perspective, and to write a review of what we can learn as a writer. We got the first assignment, “Write 5-8 pages of creative fiction, non-fiction or 5 poems until Tuesday.” “What?????!” I hastily looked around, no one seem surprised and I was sure there was probably a class I missed that explains of how to do that. “Aren’t we supposed to learn this first?!!!” I angstily thought in sheer panic. My mind started scrambling “What do I need for this?!”
The wheels have been turning since then. It is the weekend now and I will have to sit down soon, and get started. I still have no clue what I should write about. In a mad google search, I informed myself about character development, plot, point of view, narrative arc, but I still need an idea. A plot! I am still stumped and start thinking again “Maybe, this was a crazy idea, because you don’t even have an idea of what you want to write about. What kind of writer are you!”
Oh dear, oh dear.
I have been reading a lot of Kurt Vonnegut this week. I like him.
My ‘normal life’ still goes on, the normal humdrum of same-old same-old auto-repeat, and it now feels like it has a layer of pixie dust, a spice mixed in. It is transformed into something exciting and glorious, full of expectation. Like a child with a new cool toy.. Free zones are no longer filled with mind-numbing netflix and a glass of wine, but reading books, thinking about characters, and using my imagination.
A little new endeavor, and everything is changed.