It’s years since I’ve written in my blog, but now I’ve committed the next 10 weeks of my life to my first ever creative writing course I think it might be helpful to write some of it down before it all goes out of my head. Especially as already it seems to be going over my head. I mean, is it ok to say ‘I haven’t a clue what you’re on about?’ Maybe it is but I kept that thought to myself. That was this evening. The first evening, although I was terrified, in fact because I was terrified, when the (lovely) tutor, having set us a two minute writing task with the prompt ‘Why story is important’, said ‘who wants to go first?’ my hand flew up. Anything to get it over with, no going back after that, so I took a breath and read my scribbled words to the class of 18 other writers.
Here’s what I’d written:
Story connects us with each other, with the people who have lived before and the people who will live after we have gone. Story is what makes us human, the stories we tell and the stories we hear. Through the telling we share bits of ourselves that act like glue in families, between friends and neighbours and across generations. Stories make history and history shaped our world.
My tongue had grown too big for my mouth so here’s what I said:
“Gulp, nervous swallow, choke.”
No, what really happened was spontaneous applause. Obviously that was because they are a very polite and lovely bunch of people.
The 2nd week, (earlier this evening) I was even more nervous. I don’t know why but maybe it was because you can just about get away with posing as a writer for 2 hours, but another 2 hours and you are bound to be revealed as a fraud. Or simply deluded.
Tonight we learned about Semiotics / signification and the relationship between signifier and signified. The tutor (who really is lovely) talked about ‘liminal space’ and the Jacobian Axis, and although I was listening really hard I’m afraid at this point I got completely lost. So I was pleased when he old us not to get bogged down in the theory, just to get on and write.
Then he set us another 2 minute writing task in which we were to think about emotion and all the senses. My mind went blank but time was running away so after a while I just started writing, anything.
This is what I wrote:
They made me walk the line
They made me shave my head
Put bars around my bed.
They thought they’d shrink me down but
I dreamt of walking lines, of bars beneath my feet, swaying.
Buildings shifting side to side
wind on scalp, tingles, cheers
Way up here.
I didn’t read it out in class so I thought I’d put it here.
Now that’s done I need to get on with writing my novel.
P.S. I googled Jacobian Axis and nothing came up so if anyone can shed some light on that, and on the signification / signifier / signified conundrum it would be a real help. Thank you.