‘Cause I dream in skin-scented sentences

So for some time now I’ve been toying with the idea of taking a writing course. Actually, a lot more than toying with. I pretty much had found the course I wanted, and short of laying the money down, it was a done deal. It’s not something I’ve done before – i.e. concentrate that hard on writing. I write little stories for myself and the wider idea of the intertron. I moan about work and crap on about music. But it was only really around 18 months ago that I realised what I do is write. I write. I’m not sure I’m a writer, but I definitely write something resembling stuff.

Which lead me to thinking about honing crafts and brushing up skills and potentially turning a way to pass time into something that is maybe useful. Maybe.

But then comes the old issue of time. I am so time poor right now. Every piece of time that I DO have is used, I would say, pretty damn efficiently. Except for that Project Runway thing. But I mean, c’mon!! Monday nights SUCK and you gotta have somethin’, right? Anyway. What I mean to say is, when I have any time right now, I chock it full of stuff. Usually weekend stuff. With the boy. And if I were to fork out, say, $400 on a 4 week writing course, I had better be prepared to re-negotiate the time thing on some level.

And long story short, I’m not sure I’m there yet. Maybe in a few months, or maybe when I get all my eggs/clothes/toiletries/pets/furniture in the one basket/house. But there’s something more then this that’s stopping me here – I seem to have lost the habit. The writing every day habit. When I look through the archives of this thing I kinda shock myself with my early diligence. But then, back in late 2005, the blog was definitely a way to wind up the day. It was a thing to sign off to. A last call of the day. I have another one of those now.

But here’s the thing – I think I need to get back to that writing every day thing. As a starting point. At least every day I’m in the Windsor house. Because, well, it’s a habit really. Isn’t it? And if I’m not writing every day, or most days, right now, then I doubt an expensive course will really help with that.

So that’s the plan. Just to write. And to see where that takes me.

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5 Replies to “‘Cause I dream in skin-scented sentences

  1. I dunno about you dude, but I subscribe to a self penned theory that I have a finite number of words that I can use within any 24 hour period. When I’m spending the day at the office fighting forest fires with my wily fingertips, some days I come home, sit down, and have nothing. Creativity is a function of having conscious thought space to devote to nothing other than the thought of creating.

    Sometimes you have to make time to spend time not using time – i.e., plan to have time when you don’t do anything. Even half an hour reading in the sun, or a 20 minute walk, or a drive that doesn’t actually involve a destination, but exists only as a function unto itself. The things that you’re cramming into your days will still be there when you get back. And you might just be better for the experience.

    You might be surprised at the results!

  2. Dude, I have plenty of words. You probably already know that. What I don’t have, at times, is discipline. And it seems to me that a lot of the time my brain works better when it’s under the pump a bit.

    I think I need to re-wire the habit a bit, that’s all.

    And I totally get what you’re saying. And you’re right. One does need to find time for said things – lord only knows my brain could do with all the wind-down help it can get.

  3. I’m going with elemento with this – when my job was writing, the last thing I wanted to do when I collapsed in a heap at the end of the day was write some more. The hackwork just sucked all of the life out of the process for me.

    That said, discipline is a huge part of writing for an audience of ‘yourself’. The same time in the same place for the same length is key. This might mean you have to drag yourself out of bed 45 minutes early and sit fuzzleheaded at a desk. It’s like exercise – don’t do too much, too hard at first…make sure you make the process of writing into a habit.

    I am such a whore with books. I have Chekhov, Marquez and all these serious dudes giving me guilt-stares from the bedside floor, while on the bed are Franzen’s The Corrections and Winton’s Cloudstreet, both books I’ve read about five times each. Oh well…

    As for writing courses (and I’m assuming this is different for you Canadians north of the border), I undertook a Diploma of Professional Writing & Editing through the local TAFE. Not only was it damn good value for money, many of the lecturers were industry stalwarts. For example, my Writing For Children lecturer (stop sniggering up the back) was Hazel Edwards, who is drawing close to her 200th published book. Heaps of people who go through this system are time-starved professionals, taking one or two evening classes a semester – some never even complete the diploma before they find their own measure of success.

    If this is important to you, could you approach your management and make it clear how happier and more productive you’d be if you had the time to do something like this?

  4. I think the discipline thing is what I’m going for, but like you say, I really don’t want it to turn into a mental slog. Because it’s a surefire way to make me hate something super quick. The making time at the same time and same place each day thing is something I haven’t tried, and I think it’s a really good idea.

    I hadn’t thought of TAFE. I Googled that really great sounding course and it’s only offered in Victoria. Of course. All the cool stuff is in Melbourne 😛 Apparently all the writers in NSW are so awesome already they don’t require courses. Someone I knew did the course I was considering at the NSW Writers Centre so I thought it might be a good option. Given that I can’t find anything better it might have to do 😉

    And I’m always relieved when I find other people who re-read books. It makes me feel a lot less lazy.

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