An intense wave of sadness came over me this morning, which I still feel as I begin to write. And I need to write now, before the feeling subsides, as I know it will. Let me explain.
Last year I spoke of wanting to write more. The longing to write has always been there, even before I could write. I would look at picture books as a child, before I could read, and make up my own stories. Writing, no matter whether my attempts are good or bad, is as natural as breathing to me.
I wanted, and still want, to learn how to be a better writer.
But I didn’t finish high school and acceptance into higher education, called university here in Australia, requires the successful completion of high school.
Rules change, so over the years I have occasionally contacted various universities to see if I could enroll without completing high school, and in short, always given the same answer – “no”.
Last year, I tried again. I made a phone call to a local university. I had scoured their web page and discovered they ran my dream course, ‘Creative Writing’. What was even better, I could take the course online – perfect! I could still work from home; still do the office work for our business; keep the house in order…
“Could” – if they accepted me.
I made the phone call, and initially I felt that same familiar deflated feeling, as the friendly young man on the phone told me that no, nothing had changed, I had to have finished high school, then he continued, had I completed any diplomas? Participated in any courses? I told him no, I had been too busy juggling the building and running of businesses for my entire working life, in between being a mother to four children.
“It sounds like you have a lot of life experience”, he went on. Yeah, sure I did, but that wouldn’t get me into university!
He continued… “I may have just the thing for you”.
That day, with the help of a friendly man who took the time to care, I had enrolled, at university! It is a short course, just three months, full-time and online. All I have to do is pass, which guarantees me a place in my life-long dream course, Creative Writing.
So, here I am, two months into the course and what a learning experience it has been so far! After my first online lesson, my head was spinning at one-hundred miles an hour, at least! During that first lesson, our lovely teacher informed the class that at university we would be required to write in an academic, non-emotive way.
What had I gotten myself into??!!
During the first month of the course, I doubted my abilities and asked myself “Who am I trying to kid? I can’t do this”, then booted myself up the rear end, figuratively speaking, and continued.
To date, for the assignments I have submitted, I have been graded with one credit, three distinctions, and one high distinction. I’m coping. I don’t do much else with my days, other than sit at my computer and read, then write, then read some more, but on the 29th of May, the final assessments will be submitted. If I can hold it together for another four weeks and continue to receive at least a pass in my grades, my dream will begin.
During the weeks of writing in an academic, non-emotive manner, I have held onto my dream, with the ‘creative’ part of Creative Writing foremost in my mind!
So what led to the wave of sadness today? In class this morning, we were asked a question – ‘What is the purpose of writing?’ The usual answers were there, the “right” answers, ‘writing is to inform the reader’, and so on.
But that isn’t all that writing is meant to do!
I had to add another definition, my own, my familiar this-is-what-it’s-all-about definition. You can write to make the reader feel something. That’s what I want when I read, to feel something. That is what I want to convey when I write – a feeling.
Of course, it was pointed out that feelings have no place in academic writing. Yes, yes, yes, I know…
But oh, the wave of sadness! How I miss writing creatively! It’s like missing a loved one, or losing a limb!
This is the reason why I haven’t written anything about what is happening ‘In My World’ lately. I’ve had to learn a different style of writing, to get me to the course in which I will learn how to write in a completely opposite way to the one in which I am expected to write before I reach my goal.
As this morning’s lesson continued, I jotted down notes, (e.g. “back up your ‘gut-feeling’ with academic evidence”) as always. And beside those notes, I had another list of notes, those to follow as I wrote an emotive, non-academic post today, filled with all of the “I”, “me” and “my” words that I cared to indulge in! I feel like a reformed chocoholic who has fallen off the wagon! But in the nicest of ways. 😉
Before I go back to my academic alter ego, I’m sure you are wondering in which class I have been awarded a high distinction. Wonder no more, my friends. My high distinction was for…*drum roll*…Maths!
I know, right? Go figure!!
See you all next month. xx