I recently found myself in yet another writing slump so I decided to enrol in a blog writing course. I was secretly relieved to find that most of the other participants were relatively new to blogging which meant that I wouldn’t look like a dodo in comparison. Why this matters so much I don’t know. I was very impressed by the quality of their writing and this became my undoing in a roundabout way.
Each week we focussed on a different style of blog post. One week we wrote an opinion piece commenting on an issue in the news or any issue that we had strong feelings about. Another week we had to write a list post in the style of “10 things I hate about you”. At the end of each topic I posted my contributions and waited with baited breath for the comments to flow in. We critiqued one another’s work with kindness and intelligence, which was nice but also slightly unsatisfying. I posted some comments about another student’s grammar (I was trying to be helpful) and received a rather cool “thank you for your feedback” in reply. I’m still not sure if they were offended.
One big plus for the course was that you could post your work and get feedback in a relatively safe environment. I found myself writing quite a lot about grief and loss and it was wonderful to be able to write so freely. I was quite surprised to discover that I have suppressed a lot of sadness and also anger over the last few years. To be honest, I’ve probably done this for my whole life. Since I completed the course I’ve become more self aware but also more anxious generally.
The downside of the course was that the posts we wrote each week did not have to have a theme so at the end I was left with some writing that I quite liked, but didn’t know what to do with it. I’ll probably post it here on this blog that feels quite anonymous and few people actually read. [Although I’d like to say a big THANK YOU if you are reading this, I really appreciate it!].
Another downside was that the standard of writing amongst the group was so high that it actually left me feeling less confident than I felt before. Clearly I spend far too much time comparing myself to others and finding myself wanting.
Due to some issues at work, I was about a week behind in the timetable and the course finished without me. This was a pity because the topic for the last week was being brave and getting published. Perhaps if I’d completed the final week some magic would have happened and I’d be filled with enthusiasm and self confidence.
I wonder if any of you have done a writing course and what the outcome was? Did you feel more confident about your writing at the end? Was it a turning point for you? I’m genuinely keen to hear about your experiences, so please feel free to comment. I promise I won’t critique your work in any way, shape of form!