You all know I love writing – I think the nearly 1000 published posts on this blog, plus the hundreds across my other blogs, all the diaries I’ve written over time, the pages and pages of random scribbles of short stories and beginnings of novels never finished, then all the tens of thousands of words of content at work I’ve written are testament to that. But it’s the creative writing that’s always stumped me.
I love creative writing, I love fiction. I have so many ideas in my head, so many stories, but I’ve never been able to get them down right on paper. My language always ends up over flowery, with sentences going on longer than a paragraph should do and unnecessary descriptions overshadowing the real plot points.
Whenever I was asked when I was younger what I wanted to be when I grew up, there were two answers I would give: archaeologist (and nope, no idea where that came from as I didn’t like Indiana Jones and was terrified by films like The Mummy and Jurassic Park!) or children’s author. I didn’t quite make it to archaeologist when I discovered it would be a lot more back breaking work in the cold than I’d thought when I was younger (but still managed to do the whole translation of ancient languages thing!). But the children’s author bit is still one that’s stuck in my head, even if nowadays it might be more YA that I’d prefer to aim my writing at.
One problem is the little time I have, but I’d be the first to tell you that having a full time job and a billion other commitments and interests doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to do new things. Plus writing is something that comes so naturally to me that I can do it in any spare moment – having a TV blasting in the background (like I do right now!) or being in a busy place doesn’t stop me from writing, so I’m sure it’s something I can squeeze in.
But I’ve been feeling recently like I need something else – something to tell me a bit more how I should go about it. At school I wrote countless fiction short stories, and like I said, I have pages and pages of pieces of creative writing that wasn’t just school work. But despite the fact that I strongly believe that you don’t need an education in creative writing to do it (how many successful authors do?), I still feel like I want that bit of guidance. Plus I always love learning!
So when I was offered the opportunity to review a home learning course from NCC Home Learning, I knew exactly what I was looking for when I went to their site. Though there were various other courses that I would no doubt find interesting and useful (I did pause over the Criminology and language courses), I went straight to check out their writing options and found the Creative Writing Diploma. The course has 14 modules which can be done at your own speed at home plus an exam at the end. It’s a fairly broad reaching course from the look of it, covering short story, fiction, non-fiction, even script writing. I know it’s not going to make me an expert overnight, but it definitely looks like it gives you a great overview of getting started at creative writing and will give me that kick I need.
So one of my 2017 goals is to work on not just writing on the blog, but creative writing too. I’m planning to get started on this course very soon and will keep you up to date with how it goes – wish me luck!