Disclaimer: This is not an AD, or a Sponsored Post. I’m just talking through my experience of the course and using Future Learn.
Picture this, you’re a recent graduate, you have no idea what you’re doing next and you’ve got a cocktail in hand. This was me a few months ago, fretting to myself about the uncertain future on a sun-bed in Portugal, days away from coming home to face rain, the mundanity of post-holiday life and the reality of being a graduate with no job lined up and – even more distressing – being in a long line of other people who are not equipped for the ‘real world’.
Before I went crazy, and probably buzzing off the piña colada I had drained (God, I wish I was drinking one of those right now!), I started browsing online courses. I hadn’t planned to and, frankly, I could think of loads of more interesting things to do with my time (get another cocktail, dip my feet in the pool, stare at the group of guys pretending to read books on the sun-beds a few feet away) but – after a conversation with someone I studied with – I thought why not?
It was there I discovered Future Learn, a network of online courses, degrees and programs created by leading universities. There were so many courses that peaked my interest: courses about poetry, fiction, Shakespeare (yes, I’m one those people who actually like Shakespeare, how horrific?!). I didn’t want to study anything too similar to things I’d done before and, considering it’s something I really want to do, I decided to go ahead with Start Writing Fiction. Eight weeks of learning about writing: how to write, how to create characters and plots, how to look at your work and that of others.
Anyone who knows me, or has followed this blog, will know that I want to be a writer. I’m looking for a job at the moment but, if someone was to ask me what I really want to do, I really want to make it as a writer. I think studying for my degree has only my desire to get my writing out there stronger but, considering all I’d written for a while was academic essays, I knew I needed that little push.
This course has been that push. Of course, I’m still far away from having a put-together piece of writing (despite the fact that the deadline for a short piece is looming…oops), but I’m closer to feeling less insecure in this creative side of me.
I’ve had to read other writer’s pieces, learn about how they think and how they write, think more about characters and plot as well as write some things myself…and actually put them somewhere other than on a Word document.
It hasn’t been easy. I’m fairly insecure, so any criticism I have received has led me to have a moment of crisis – would I ever be considered a writer or, more importantly, a good one?
This week, once I get my writing head on, I’ll have written a piece. A piece that encapsulates everything I’ve learnt about the writing process, the editing process and myself as a writer. I’m terrified of what I’ll come up with – especially considering the fact that I have zero ideas and limited time – and how other people (other writers) will take it.
In amongst those feelings of terror, there is joy. Considering how I felt after the reality of being a degree holder on the one hand but unemployed and nowhere near a job on the other, it’s nice to have had something different to concentrate my energy on. I feel as though, after this, I will have improved as a writer. Not only that, I will also feel like I can write that book.
And I will write it.