Life Writing, Part 1

So I’m saying goodbye to fiction and poetry and embarking onto a journey into life writing. I’m worrying a little about this topic for a number of reasons:

  • Why would anyone find my life interesting? I’ve never done anything so different or so exciting it merits writing about!
  • How honest can I really be if I want my friends and family to speak to me ever again?
  • How do I even come up with an idea of what to write about?
  • How can I avoid unturfing sensitive issues?
  • I’m 20! How much of a life have I even had?
  • What if people judge me for what I reveal about my life?

I think writing down my fears has helped calm me down a little bit. And there are things I’ve been looking forward to about life writing, such as:

  • I can use my own voice! I know this sounds like a silly one, but I find it so much more freeing writing from my own point of view; when I’m writing from the perspective of an invented character I’m never sure if I’m being entirely consistent…
  • I won’t have to do any in-depth character creation- my characters already exist!
  • I will be able to use my friends and family as a resource. Their memories will help to add more depth to whatever story I decide to tell. Also having their help will stop me from feeling like I’m swimming against the tide by myself.
  • It could be cathartic writing about my past experiences, especially if they were particularly difficult events. This could be my opportunity to flush out my negative baggage.
  • It’s something I am capable of doing; I’ve kept a diary for years and I do (kind of!) keep a blog, they’re both forms of life writing, right?

I think that as long as I focus on those positive thoughts about life writing, I might be able to keep my cool! My aim is to prevent the usual panic, and I think that this time I might have just done that… I’ll keep you posted!


The Woes (and Wows) of Poetry

When I was younger I loved poetry. I loved to make this rhyme, I loved to use excessive alliteration and I loved reading rude limericks. Who didn’t?! But before I started studying poetry as part of A215 (Creative Writing) I thought the fun and frivolity would disappear. Maybe my sense of dread stemmed from the fact that I don’t really read poetry anymore, and whenever I try I feel like I don’t ‘get’ it.

But here’s the bizarre thing… when we started to have a go at writing poems I actually really enjoyed it. I hadn’t really prepared myself from that! I started to feel more comfortable sharing things on the forum too; my fellow Creative Writers have been great at giving feedback.

And then TMA time arrived. I tried, I really did. And I actually thought I’d done reasonably well, which seems to be what I think every time I get my worst score ever. But I don’t think the score’s the part that bothered me this time. My tutor said that you could tell I hadn’t enjoyed poetry that much- I didn’t really know how to respond to that as it had actually turned out to be my favourite thing to write so far… (I want to stress that this is not a criticism of my tutor, she is fab. )

My dilemma is, do I continue to ‘waste my time’ and carry on doing something that I enjoy but that may never lead to anything good, or do I give up on the world of poetry and move onto something that will yield a better end result?

I would also like to add that this is not a rhetorical question, all comments are welcome!

Wuthering Heights

What can I say about Wuthering Heights? Really, the only thing that comes to mind is that it made me want to cry. Not because it was a tragedy, but because it was so… disappointing! Before starting I didn’t really know more about the story than you can glean from the Kate Bush song. I was expecting a tempestuous and heartbreaking love story, but instead I got a fairly mundane tale of tepid characters. Most of them were just generally unappealing, but then there was Linton who I think I may actively despise…

I’m not completely condemning Emily Bronte, I think she had a great style, and there are so many sections of the book that are beautifully written. I just feel like it could have been so much more. The hype didn’t help, almost everyone I know told me how much I was going to love it because bla blaa blaaa. I know it’s probably not fair, but I kept finding myself comparing it to Jane Eyre (something I could read over and over). Needless to say, I probably won’t be reading this one again.

My feelings for this text made writing about “the representation of home in Wuthering Heights” an arduous ordeal. And I’ve started noticing a theme in A230, most of the books they’ve got us to read so far have been absolute fun-suckers.  But it’s ok, I’ve got through it (although it was touch and go for a while) and am looking forward to a future of Sherlock Holmes  and Robert Louis Stevenson. Just keep your fingers crossed for me and my awful assignment!

A New Start (again)

I think I may have uncovered the root of my blogging problem… I spend a large chunk of my working day on the computer, and then the rest of my day doing OU work. So when evening swings around I’m somewhat loathe to sit at my computer and obsess about OU work.

Sometimes I really feel like my mind is begging my brain for some downtime, so that’s what I’ve done, I’ve let her chillax for a while. But now I’m back, and ready to give my blog a face lift (actually I’m too young for a face lift, let’s say I’m giving it a deep cleansing mud pack).If you can understand my slightly fruity metaphors, bravo! If not, then what I’m trying to say is that I want to give this whole thing a revamp, and add a bit of variety into it.

I don’t want to feel like writing is such a chore; I want to enjoy it again! So I’m going to write about the things that I see and experience and love and hate. That’s the plan anyhoo, and I’m hoping that this will stop me from losing the will to live and encourage me to write a little more frequently!

I should probably get back to work right now, but watch this space!