I attended the first day of a six week writing course today. I feel very positive that I will take away some genuinely useful nuggets of advice about writing in such a way as to directly address a specific target audience.
It was great to meet some new creative people too. I've been reading one or two of their blogs. I was very impressed. We have a lot of hidden talent silently condensed into our small town.
However, the course was not entirely what I expected it to be. I had been told it was a creative writing course. My dad and sister were told that too.
But it wasn't about writing fiction for fun. It was about writing non-fiction for profit; mainly for magazines.
Now I could eat a whole bowl of advice nuggets about writing for magazines with milk and sugar and still have room for toast with technical literature marmalade. Both of which I've already done, probably to a mediocre degree. There's always room for improvement especially in the area of knowing the business side; how much to charge, copyright and other crunchy delights.
Before I go any further, I must ask. The breakfast metaphor. Too much?
Your expression says it all. No more streaky rashers tonight.
The course was not for everyone. Some people were expecting to be writing poems and short stories and marvelling at hearing the unexpected works of other talented people. Others were deflated by the stifling negativity from hearing the organiser's experiences on writing fiction that leeched every last drop of creative mojo. My dad for one. He was, in a nutshell, disappointed.
But I believe that everything happens for a reason. I'm a Buddhist, doncha know. (Before you complain, I know that's not a word).
I believe that you should wring every ounce of positivity from an experience. There'll always be an element of it that will prove to be a benefit in the future. It's not always immediately obvious. Sometimes, it can even seem to be a negative experience at first glance.
But there's always a positive side, even to something that looks negative. As a minimum, you'll learn not to do it again. Which, of course, is positive.
That's just how I see things these days. And so, I believe, did some of the other attendees.
So I'll be there next week with my sister but not my dad. We'll do our homework and research. We'll learn about how best to write an article that appeals to a magazine editor and ultimately to a demographic.
And you, dear drainer, will reap the rewards of my new found penmanship skills.