|The soon to be bionic woman....|
Gaylene Perry in her essay 'History Documents, Arts Reveals: Creative Writing as Research,' states 'I wrote as I learned and I learned as I wrote.' So true and it never stops. I heard of a student who at a workshopping session for their creative pieces handed their complete piece, including assignment cover sheet stapled to it, to the tutor for some feedback. The said tutor was slightly taken aback as this was the first of three workshopping sessions, aimed at allowing the students to polish their assignment. They asked the student why and the student responded, 'Well, I've finished it.' No one, other than the student, had looked at it and needless to say once it was workshopped and the tutor had looked through it, it was not finished. There was writing all over it, highlighting things that needed to be changed. I must admit it is a hard, but important, thing to learn that your first draft is never (or very rarely) your finished draft. My own pieces of work often go through a multitude of redrafting, which is rarely in the single figures and often heads towards three figures.
A friend, who is an accomplished writer, has recently taken part in a course and found it so useful as they re-learnt things they already knew but had forgotten. It appeared to me that they felt, with the input of the course leaders, revitalised about their writing. They found it to be a very positive experience. For me this highlighted how when writing you never stop learning, confirming Perry's quote above. You learn as you write, as you read, as you research, as you share your work. It all shapes you into the writer you are. I am lucky even working with students helps me to improve my writing as I listen to them and their ideas and how they improve their work. It can be really inspirational. Never be ashamed of looking to learn more. It will never be wasted. Neither assume you have learnt it all because I can assure you, you haven't. There is always something out there that can help bring your writing to life even more.
Right, I am off to be made into a bionic woman, you will soon see me jumping from roof to roof with my new body that they have rebuilt for me.
In the meantime, here's a bit of one of my favourite men