Started an expensive, exclusive creative writing course and I don’t like it...(10 Posts)
Anyone else done one and did it get better? Or did you like it from the start?
I don’t want to say which one I’m doing. It’s not an MA but still selective.
But it is full of extroverted egos who hog all the time as far as I can tell so far.
And I’m not sure I’m learning anything.
Starting to feel a bit stupid for wasting my money and getting excited about it...
(Disclaimer: I am not naive enough to think it’s going to get me published, but obviously did it as I want to get published!! Mainly did it for the motivation to get me to finish my novel.)
That's a shame OP. How far in to the course are you? Sometimes things are awkward at first but the group settles down after a while. And you generally get at least one weirdo in a writing class ime!
Not far at all, schmalex, wondering how churlish it would be to ask for a refund... (I don’t think I’d get one! These classes are there to make ££££ after all.) Also wonder if I’d be giving up too soon?
Maybe the people who did most of the talking were just nervous so not coming across well...
Just starting to feel a little foolish for booking into it right now!
I had massive doubts during the first term of my MA. I didn't think I was learning anything new and I had similar issues with some of my first workshop group. I stuck it out and it was the best thing I could have done. I had a publishing deal three months after finishing.
That’s amazing,*kungfupannda*! Congratulations!
Ok that makes me feel a little better.
The trouble is, this group is the group. There isn’t really much time that we’re not all spent together workshopping and the loud voices are pretty dominating.
I don’t know what I was expecting... but I should probably stop moping and just hope for the best. I’m just disappointed - it was something I was really excited about.
Any chance you can make allies with the other quieter ones? They're probably thinking the same as you. Breaking out into smaller groups to allow for this might be something you could suggest to the tutor.
I'm an awful one for filling in gaps and silences, because it feels awkward, and I've frankly had to learn to keep my trap shut and listen - asking the tutor to make space for the less domineering ones to talk and the loud arses to listen might be of benefit to the whole group.
Yes I left a course which sounds a lot like yours because ultimately I did not want to spend any more time with the people on it. It was a well known and expensive course with a track record of getting people published but I hated it.
The "teaching" exercises were fine though no revelations, but over 50% of the course was mutual "crit" which was pretty much unmoderated and frankly I think we would have done better hauling in people off the street.
Lots of loud voices from people who actually were not qualified to assess other people's work as they were just fellow punters. I write in a fairly minority sub genre and there were lots of disparaging comments about the genre and some fairly twattish comments in general. I did not regret leaving despite the money it cost me. Far from encouraging me to finish, it turned me off writing altogether for a while.
I've started one too, and have found pretty much the same. The tutor is great, but most of the others all seem to be teachers/lecturers/headteachers who seem to know all the terminology and have read EVERYTHING.
I comfort myself with the fact that I am learning stuff, and that Jane Austen never went to Creative Writing classes .
I'm sure you're learning more than you think and just ignore the gobby ones. It doesn't mean they're better at it than you!
A lot of these creative writing courses rely too heavily on mutual critiquing for my liking. If you are paying £££ then you really need to be getting lots of feedback from a trained editor who has experience in the publishing industry, not just dumped in a group to ‘talk amongst yourselves’.
I did the OU MA part last year. I hated it until Xmas tie and then I loved it.
I'm taking a year out before part 2 for many reasons, personal, financial and health amongst them.
Sometimes the beginning of something is hard to get to grips with. I thing real challenges always are in all walks of life.
I'd advise perseverance. Not to the point of breakdown though.
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