After spending the first eight weeks of the course working on the core skills and techniques, it was time for the assignment.
The assigment was in two parts; participation, which was related to how active you were on the forums, discussions and workshops, and also written work which was a body of your own creative writing (4000 words) and a personal creative writing ‘manifesto’ (2000).
I had planned to write a short story for the creative writing element but, at the last moment, took a risk to update the first chapter of my novel and use that – after all it would be marked by published authors and it gave me the chance to get some excellent feedback.
The manifesto itself, which can be found here, I found quite difficult simply because I felt I had to tell someone how writing should be and I don’t have any authority to do it. The only way I could complete this was to convince myself that this manifesto was personal only to me.
All-in-all, I felt this first term was very successful for me. I learned a lot about the basics of writing and picked up some good knowledge on my own work (and others) via the use of the workspaces. The writing exercises kept me busy and the reading material was, in the main, intersting and worthwhile.
Week 8 was the culmination of the previous weeks whereby we worked on our Creative Manifesto.
Apart from the completion of the manifesto and the submission, there were some simple aims to cover the other aspects of study that we’d been doing. These included learning more about presenting manuscripts to a professional standard, continuing to provide feeback to our peers and working with our tutor to develop the final manifesto.
The writing exercise was just about polishing the manifesto and making sure it read correctly, and that there were no glaring errors in it.
In terms of reflection, I did enjoy this first term and it certainly opened my eyes up to aspects of writing that I hadn’t given a though to, especially the manifesto weeks. I discovered new ways of just starting to write, via rituals, and I also enjoyed the work spent in gathering ideas though the different mediums.
I do have to admit that I found the manifesto work quite difficult. I very much feel that creative writing is a personal action which means I find it difficult to tell people how they should do it. That’s quite ironic seeing as I’m doing a creative writing course, but I see that as someone telling me where a destination is, but then letting me choose whichever route to that destination that I prefer. Now, with a manifesto, I got the feeling that I was being asked to tell people what is wrong, and what isn’t.
Still, I did enjoy working on the manifesto and I’m glad that I completed it. I’ll get it added to a page at the top of the blog in next couple of days so people can read it and let me know what they think.
Next week, I’ll be posting the notes I made from term 2, Writing and the Self.