Australia · challenges · happiness · In My World · new beginnings

An Indulgence In Emotive Writing.

kookieAn intense wave of sadness came over me this morning, which I still feel as I begin to write. And I need to write now, before the feeling subsides, as I know it will. Let me explain.

Last year I spoke of wanting to write more. The longing to write has always been there, even before I could write. I would look at picture books as a child, before I could read, and make up my own stories. Writing, no matter whether my attempts are good or bad, is as natural as breathing to me.

I wanted, and still want, to learn how to be a better writer.

But I didn’t finish high school and acceptance into higher education, called university here in Australia, requires the successful completion of high school.

Rules change, so over the years I have occasionally contacted various universities to see if I could enroll without completing high school, and in short, always given the same answer – “no”.

Last year, I tried again. I made a phone call to a local university. I had scoured their web page and discovered they ran my dream course, ‘Creative Writing’. What was even better, I could take the course online – perfect! I could still work from home; still do the office work for our business; keep the house in order…

“Could” – if they accepted me.

I made the phone call, and initially I felt that same familiar deflated feeling, as the friendly young man on the phone told me that no, nothing had changed, I had to have finished high school, then he continued, had I completed any diplomas? Participated in any courses? I told him no, I had been too busy juggling the building and running of businesses for my entire working life, in between being a mother to four children.

“It sounds like you have a lot of life experience”, he went on. Yeah, sure I did, but that wouldn’t get me into university!

He continued… “I may have just the thing for you”.

That day, with the help of a friendly man who took the time to care, I had enrolled, at university!  It is a short course, just three months, full-time and online. All I have to do is pass, which guarantees me a place in my life-long dream course, Creative Writing.

So, here I am, two months into the course and what a learning experience it has been so far! After my first online lesson, my head was spinning at one-hundred miles an hour, at least! During that first lesson, our lovely teacher informed the class that at university we would be required to write in an academic, non-emotive way.

What had I gotten myself into??!!

During the first month of the course, I doubted my abilities and asked myself “Who am I trying to kid? I can’t do this”, then booted myself up the rear end, figuratively speaking, and continued.

To date, for the assignments I have submitted, I have been graded with one credit, three distinctions, and one high distinction. I’m coping. I don’t do much else with my days, other than sit at my computer and read, then write, then read some more, but on the 29th of May, the final assessments will be submitted. If I can hold it together for another four weeks and continue to receive at least a pass in my grades, my dream will begin.

During the weeks of writing in an academic, non-emotive manner, I have held onto my dream, with the ‘creative’ part of Creative Writing foremost in my mind!

So what led to the wave of sadness today? In class this morning, we were asked a question – ‘What is the purpose of writing?’ The usual answers were there, the “right” answers, ‘writing is to inform the reader’, and so on.

But that isn’t all that writing is meant to do!

I had to add another definition, my own, my familiar this-is-what-it’s-all-about definition. You can write to make the reader feel something. That’s what I want when I read, to feel something. That is what I want to convey when I write – a feeling.

Of course, it was pointed out that feelings have no place in academic writing. Yes, yes, yes, I know…

But oh, the wave of sadness! How I miss writing creatively! It’s like missing a loved one, or losing a limb!

This is the reason why I haven’t written anything about what is happening ‘In My World’ lately. I’ve had to learn a different style of writing, to get me to the course in which I will learn how to write in a completely opposite way to the one in which I am expected to write before I reach my goal.

Crazy, right!

As this morning’s lesson continued, I jotted down notes, (e.g. “back up your ‘gut-feeling’ with academic evidence”) as always. And beside those notes, I had another list of notes, those to follow as I wrote an emotive, non-academic post today, filled with all of the “I”, “me” and “my” words that I cared to indulge in! I feel like a reformed chocoholic who has fallen off the wagon! But in the nicest of ways. 😉

Before I go back to my academic alter ego, I’m sure you are wondering in which class I have been awarded a high distinction. Wonder no more, my friends. My high distinction was for…*drum roll*…Maths!

I know, right? Go figure!!

See you all next month. xx

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14 thoughts on “An Indulgence In Emotive Writing.

  1. Good for you, Joanne, for taking on this challenge in pursuit of your dream. I think you are smart to write a therapeutic post to express yourself!
    Hang in there, only 30% to go, you can do it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, only 30% left to go! I’m really enjoying this course, but my family say I’m trying too hard. I’m sure I will relax once this hurdle is overcome, I just need to get a ‘pass’ in this amazing opportunity I have been handed! By the way, the therapeutic post (which is what we all call it!) is actually called “Reflective Writing” in my course, and I got a distinction in that assignment. My years of blog writing paid off. 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much, Frank! I miss visiting my blogging friends as well as writing in my own blogs, but I have to keep my eye fully on the target for now. Going back to full-time study after 40 years hasn’t been easy! 😉

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    1. Thank you so much for your support, Carol. 🙂 Isn’t that always the way though, when learning something new? It’s such a drudge to get past that point where you can shout ‘Eureka!’when everything you have been learning finally ‘gels’ and you can continue with relative ease.

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  2. Joanne, your journey echoes mine and at 66 years young, here I am in my final year of my Bachelor of Creative Writing. There is light at the end of the tunnel and academic writing continues into your creative writing courses when you are required to write, Critical Reflections and heaven help us all, that monster that looms at the end of your degree THE EXEGESIS, that which accompanies your final creative artifact, telling the world why and how you have written what you have written, My journey commenced in 2011 and I finish this October. Next April 2016, I will walk across the stage, robed and capped and accept my degree from the Chancellor. I will tip my mortar board and switch the tassel to the other side signifying I am a graduate. Then the next stage awaits as I enter post-graduate studies. I know you will experience frustration, annoyance, euphoria and all emotions in between. Believe me, the journey is worthwhile and you will treasure every minute. My only regret is I waited so long to start my journey. More power to you Joanne, go out there and set the world on fire. Live your dream.

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    1. Linda, I knew that in meeting you I had met a kindred spirit! I think that I have experienced all of the emotions you describe already, yet I’ve only just begun the journey you are near to completing. I too wish I could have started earlier, but they say that everything in life happens at the right time, and just as it is meant to happen. I’m at the point now where I feel confident about writing with emotion again, (just for a quick moment!) and I realise that practice with academic writing will make it easier to switch between the two styles. I have also been assured by one of the Creative Writing teachers that I will be able to ‘break loose’ soon. 🙂

      You are such an inspiration, Linda! And what a wonderful day it will be for you when you walk across that stage next April…and a whole new journey will begin. 🙂

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  3. Well done, Joanne! What a wonderful journey you have begun. When the going gets tough try to keep your eyes on the prize.

    My sister teaches geology at college – she struggles to get her students to write their lab reports scientifically, without personal references, feelings or creativity. Since it is a required course at a liberal arts college most of these students are probably find themselves in a situation similar to yours. 🙂

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  4. Joanne, I love what you discovered throughout this course–that writing to you involves making the reader feel something. YES! I so whole-heartedly agree. I studied journalism in college and really did not enjoy it because–just like you–the non-emotive part of it took away the joy of writing. You made us feel something with your essay. Sympathy, compassion, inspiration. Your writing is wonderful! No matter what educational degrees a person has, they really aren’t important if they can’t help to connect to the heart. You don’t NEED to study to learn this–you already have it. Of course, you may WANT to study more if it’s fun. But only if it’s connecting to your heart. Kindly tell the little inner education-judging voice that you’ve got what it takes. I’m proud of you that you got this core knowing about feeling and connecting.

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  5. My dad never finished high school and graduated from University here in Canada at age 74; which means it’s not too late for me I guess.

    You should feel so proud of yourself but may I just second Kathy’s comment. You’re a natural writer. Don’t beat yourself up here. You’re a natural hon.

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