Yes, that’s right. We lecture on creative writing. Thirty-eight students turned out to an introductory lecture. We were expecting 41. But five did not show who were on our lists.
What does one lecture about in creative writing?
Well, this week there was a lot of housekeeping. The programme leader came and talked about the programme. I talked about some specific module details. The other two tutors were introduced. We chose student reps. Six people volunteered. Usually it’s a struggle to find one.
Then there was the real content.
Usually, only a handful of our students have a portfolio of writing. This time, most of the room put their hands up to say they had. The secondary and tertiary education systems do not normally allow much space for creative writing.
I emphasized the need to write every day. They should set themselves a goal of two minutes – that’s right – just two minutes. Chances are, they’ll get started and end up doing two hours. I also pointed out how important it was to take part every week in the workshop and how this will actually make the completion of the assignment easier. I encouraged them too to keep a writer’s journal.
I pointed out how gradually the way they read will become different. They will become quicker and more critical. They’ll find they can’t read without critiquing but it does mean that they can enjoy texts in a different way.
And then there are all those activities that are to do with writing that don’t seem like work – people-watching, reading and watching films. Absorbing story in all sorts of different ways.
The biggest shock may have been, I suspect, that I told them they should be spending 200 hours on each module they’re on. They have, of course, already done some of the work. They’ve probably been doing it all their lives.