Have you ever signed up to something and later regretted it? Have you a dream but keep making excuses not to pursue it?
Since I began this blog eighteen months ago I have discovered just how much I enjoy writing. I have written about all sorts of everything, stories from my past, moments from my day, thoughts that were buzzing around my head. However at times I have wondered. Was I a blogger or a writer? Was there a difference?
In recent times I’ve had a niggling thought, as annoying as a tickly cough. There was no getting rid of it. I wanted to learn about writing. Or did I? Because in truth, as soon as I had that one thought, I quickly replaced it with every reason I could think of for not pursuing it.
Last week I received an email from Fish publishing advertising online writing courses. Oh my goodness, maybe fate was intervening? I opened the link and became immersed in ‘maybe’. Looking through the link I particularly liked the idea of short story writing, which had been the foremost niggle in my head over the past few months. However as I began to read more, I decided it was not for me and I quickly ‘X’ed my way off the site.
Twenty four hours later I couldn’t help myself opening the link once more. Once again I allowed myself to imagine being a part of that course. Learning, reading, writing, being challenged. I began to feel a bit braver. Why not? So what if it was too high brow for me, surely I’d learn something? Then I imagined how I’d feel if in fact it was full, or if I was too late applying. Would I be disappointed? Yes, I definitely would. So without any further hesitation I clicked ‘enrollment/fees’ and with a couple more clicks I’d spent quite a bit of money and I was in.
I sat back and felt a wash of satisfaction sweep over me. I was delighted. At last I was doing something, not wondering or doubting myself. I could do this. I would make the time. In no time at all I had built up my own confidence to such a level that I even told a couple of my children what I had done. One was full of praise, the other, who is studying in school and is not overly partial to English, looked at me in pity and said, ‘What would you ever want to do that for?’ I smiled, my confidence not dented in any way, then she added, ‘You freak’. Don’t you just love children?
Before I had time to defend myself an email arrived. My ‘teacher’ was getting in touch. I nearly burst. This was real. I quickly opened the email and read it’s contents. Within minutes all confidence had died. Deflated I thought to myself, ‘Sweet Jesus, what was I thinking?’. It is nearly thirty years since I sat an English exam. There’s no fool like an old fool. I looked at the suggested reading list, it was long. I looked at the first module and I felt out of my depth. I couldn’t even figure out what exactly the assignment was, surely that was a very bad start? My ‘teacher’ had stated to be sure and drop a line if I have any queries. Asking her what my first assignment was, was definitely not going to be a good start. So, you may ask, what did I do?
After a short while I was once more drawn to my laptop. I opened the email and read, re read, and yes read again, the email I’d received. Maybe it was the wine, but now I could understand it better. I was getting a bit excited about it all. Yes I could do this, and yes I would enjoy it.
Now a few days later I have managed to train myself to feel those positive thoughts, without the wine. I have, you guessed it, re read my assignment a few more times. I have downloaded a couple of books from the suggested reading list and I’ve read what I have for ‘homework’. I’ve not actually written anything yet, but I’m further along than I was this day last week.
So I will keep you all posted. I have no idea how to even present my ‘homework’. There are words I have had to google, and I’ve to learn about ‘pacing’, which I assume is not what I teach my competitive swimmers! God help my poor ‘teacher’. I can only imagine her reaction to my first attempt, but we all must start somewhere, and I am hoping against hope that she is a long time in this game and therefore has come across worse.
Yes it seemed a good idea at the time. Now I’ve blogged about it, not to mention paid for it, there is no going back.
Help me, I’m very thirsty all of a sudden. Where’s my wine?
photo credit: CollegeDegrees360 via