Writing again

I’m writing again. Eeek!

As many of you know, I’ve signed up for a creative writing course on Romantic Writing. We can’t completely call it a genre, as when you start to look into it further you realize there are so many different variations and lengths of stories involved. For a better idea – Harlequin has much of it broken down here: http://www.harlequin.com/articlepage.html?articleId=538&chapter=0

Friday was my first day of the course. I’ve been chomping at the bit to get in there and find out what it’s all about. I have never done online learning, so I’m not 100% what to expect, but when I logged on I found things to be fairly straight forward. It was the first week and we already had a discussion topic that they’ve asked all of us to answer. The instructor basically wanted us to tell them who we are, where we came from and what brought us to the course. And then they asked us to tell what we like about romance writing as a reader.

Fairly straight forward right?

Not for me.

I over-analyze everything. Odd, since when I write it’s basically verbal diarrhea coming out of my mouth. (or written diarrhea as the case may be.) I started to put some things down and then realized that when I went back to the site, that other people in the course had written something already. It’s interesting that we are able to see each others writing, but I know this is to generate discussion and not for assignments. (Even if it’s worth 10% of our final grade in the course.)

With incredible apprehension I decided to check out what was written. I found that the people there seemed pretty genuine, but so different than me. It seemed they had only read the question at the top of the page and none of the other content on the site and then wrote a little blurb. There were spelling and grammar mistakes – something that I would think anyone taking a writing course would do their best to avoid. I tried not to judge, but it was hard not to. These are people that I feel I’m going to be compared to for the entire duration of the program – 4 months of us going against each other for assignments and grades.

Okay, let’s be honest, I’m a bit of a nerd. I did really well in any of my English courses in school and I’ve always loved writing. Therefore I was very surprised by the responses to the questions. I thought everyone would be as thorough as I was planning to be – that everyone would go into detail to answer all of the questions. Instead it was more informal and natural.

The instructor had already answered 3 of the submissions that were in before the end of business today and she seemed very friendly and welcoming to all of them. I felt a little stumped. Here I was having to write something and slowly realizing that I was in this program for some slightly different reasons than the other people were – two were just taking courses because they like to write and are waiting for the next phase of their education, and one was taking the course so that she can help build on how to write relationships-but she had already completed a full novel.

I felt that in many respects, I was light years ahead and yet also completely behind. I’ve been published, something the three others had not really been. I used to work at a newspaper. But as anyone who has worked in the industry can tell you, being a journalist and being a fiction writer are two very different beasts. One tells the facts and the other is creative and often lives in a fantasy world.

And so I decided that this was where I was going to start.

I am a writer who has lost her way. 

And it was with that, that I started to do more research into romance writing. It was then that I started to see that there was more than just writing about heaving bossums and strong male leads, although if that’s what you are into writing you can. I realized that there is a very strong place for me in romantic fiction and within a few hours, ideas came to my mind. I started writing some things down and then ultimately turned it into the beginnings of a story.

I am 732 words into the story of Eloise and I have a long way to go. But it’s a start. I feel like I’m not just a writer that has lost her way anymore. I am a writer. I am creative and I can do this. I’m going to give it my all to actually finish what I start.

I meant what I said to my course:

“I no longer want to be the woman with her nose in a book, I want to be the woman with her name ON the book.”

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