2007 Writing Journal – Part 2

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I’m taking a blog break to do another Project October. In place of my normal blog posts during July, I will be posting in nine parts a writing journal I completed as the major assessment piece of my final master’s subject called The Writerly Self.

This is Part 2.

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6 March 2007
Yet another discussion thread topic that I have to fudge my way around. Writing a review of a book written by an author whose first language isn’t English would be much easier if I’d ever actually read a book written by an author whose first language isn’t English. I think I came into this course with my eyes wide open, knowing that commercial, mainstream fiction with sex scenes and serial slayers and suspenseful storylines wasn’t going to be a focus, but would it kill them? I mean, there’s a reason it sells so well. There’s a reason I prefer to read it rather than overblown literary tales in which it takes two decades to realise nothing is ever going to happen. It’s always the commercial, mainstream books that I don’t expect to surprise me that, in fact, do. And it’s always the literary ‘classics’ that I read because I’m told I should that bore me to tears. This is the editor in me but most of them could do with some judicious pruning and a severe rewrite. Didn’t they have editors in the olden days?

8 March 2007
I’ve asked Jacqui about an idea I’ve had for the assessment piece. It’s not quite what it should be but I’m hoping it will be approved because the proposed writing journal and the reflective essay-style piece sound terminally boring to me. I’ve always had trouble with the concept of being a writer for hire. I want to write what I want to write. That’s less of a problem when screenplays or novels are expected, because I love writing those. But reflecting on my journey as a writer? I’m just not that self-aware. I find it really hard to trace a path, both in my journey as a writer and my life more generally.

Anyway, my idea for the assessment piece is a how-to book on writing in the vein of Stephen King’s On Writing and Robert McKee’s Story that is anything but helpful. Sort of a comedic take on the idea that how to write is as simple as buying and reading a book. Plus the idea of it being written by an unpublished writer (do as I say, not as I do) adds to the farcical nature of it.

I’ve had it in the back of my mind for ages and want to use the 96 weekly discussion threads written during this course as the basis for it. Surely there would be a traceable path of my journey as a writer from the first discussion thread I wrote to the last. That’s the hope.

10 March 2007
Yet another class with fewer than five classmates, so it seems. There appears to be just the three of us, Melissa, Jim and me. I’ve had classes with both Melissa and Jim before. I think when I signed up for this, a significant reason was the people I would meet, the oodles and oodles of other writers I would meet and learn from, or at least bounce off. But I can really only remember one class that was filled to the rafters with students and that was the very first one, Script Adaptation. I’m not sure if it’s a bad thing or not. I suppose it means I’ve had to work very, very hard at being my own critical friend, instead of relying on others. Possibly this is a good thing, seeing that after I finish the course I will be all on my own again.

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