31 January 2006

Learner writer

For Christmas, my wife enrolled me on a writing course at the local art centre. I attended the first session last Tuesday.
I had no idea what to expect, but maybe I can make some useful local contacts. Seven prospective writers attended the first session. I say prospective because I do not consider myself to be a proper writer until I have something published. Until then I’m just playing at it.
Everyone else had either attended previous courses with the teacher or knew loads about literary fiction. We did an exercise trying to guess the origins and first meaning of words. Everyone except me seemed to have a working knowledge of Latin and French. In the end I gave up and tried to convince them that Tandem meant an early name for a blue and yellow fish which lived in the Mediterranean – just for the hell of it really.
The evening consisted of a series of exercises designed to improve descriptive skills and observation. This is in fact exactly what I want: something which stretches my writing in different directions and challenges me to improve. I enjoyed the evening, though I did feel like a Tandem out of water.
My wife has never read anything I’ve written, but to be fair I have never wanted her to – not until it is finished. She is very supportive and I appreciate that; last year she bought me the Writer’s and Artists Year Book – very useful. I’ve already planned everyone I’m going to send the book to once I’ve completed it. All I need to do now is bring it to a close, but for some reason that proving a bit of a problem. I’ll have to think some more on that and write later.

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