I’ve never been good at school. Not the results, to be honest they usually came out better than expected, but in the studying and revising and general concentrating on things that don’t hold my interest. A means to an end never occurs to me when I’m daydreaming my time away because I can’t seem to keep my brain on topic. That only ever occurs with hindsight. As it is I’m stuck inside for the next few weeks and it should be the perfect chance to get on with my writing. So far I’ve read the question:
This is an OPEN ASSIGNMENT which means that you can use it to have work of your choice assessed by your tutor. The only restrictions are as follows:
(i) The work must be non-fiction. At this stage in the course you will have a tutor who specialises in non-fiction, so it could create difficulties if you sent in a piece of fiction for assessment.
(ii) There is an upper limit of 2,000 words but you can send less. You should submit one or more complete articles, fillers, readers’ letters etc. Do not send an extract from a longer piece of work. Indicate the word length clearly on each piece.
(iii) You must indicate the proposed market for your work.
And that’s about as far as I have got.
It’s like my dissertation all over again. During the summer when I should have been planning my dissertation so that I would have the plan and first chapter finished by the first October reading week instead I was planning and re-planning and changing the title, the topic, the sources and anything I could to try and keep it appealing. By the time I went back and saw my tutor in September I had 100 half thought out ideas, chapters galore with no real start or finish just lots of middle and no clue how on earth to fix it all. It took a few wise words from one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever had the pleasure to learn under to put me back on the right track. And all he asked me was ‘why?’
Why was doing a dissertation on the satirical undertone of the literature of the 18th Century when I clearly didn’t like it enough to write 10,000 words about it? Why did I think that I had to stay down the academic route that thousands had covered before me? Why didn’t I thin about what I enjoyed first and then let that guide me?
So I decided to give it a try, and when he asked me what I loved and what provoked a reaction and passion in me, I answered truthfully. Honestly and without stopping to consider the implications,
And that was exactly what I wrote my dissertation on. Harry Potter, The Artifacts of Power, The Shadowleague and the Inheritence with a few others scattered along the way. A collection of all my favourite fantasy books and a long discussion of how the fantasy land is created through the series. It enthralled me and I loved every moment of my last year at university because of that and my other dissertation which, being creative writing, had to be the start of a novel or a 10,000 word short story. The only time in my life I’ve actually enjoyed doing my homework…
And so we’re back to the beginning again. I need to write an article, letter or prose but all the
ideas I think of don’t inspire or excite me and I drift off half way through to think of other things or get distracted happily by some other useless topic. I think Professor William’s timely words of advice could be timeless and with them in mind I search once more into the maze that is my passions and interests. This is what I’ve got:
(i) Fantasy books – more often series but stand alone books can be amazing at times
(ii) Writing – I like writing for me first and then for others so I’ve always thought a novel would be more suited to me. Now just for the inspiration to strike…
(iii) Music – I love an eclectic mix but I am a firm believer that music alters moods, memories and occasions for the better or worst depending what is played and who is listening.
(iv) Rugby – I like watching and playing, I love the soul of the game and the common factors that run from premier league to minis and juniors tag. I love the sport.
(v) Exercise – I like the simplicity of running and swimming, never really been much of a one for classes. I like the clarity it brings when I’m taking part.
So, following the path as far as it goes down the rabbit hole where does that lead me? I’ve tried several starts, some concerning the topics above and nothing sticks, what is going so off track this time? But perhaps its not going off track, perhaps I’m just going off subject. I’m taking each of them and trying to shoehorn them into a category to write about whereas maybe I should write about them and see what categories come out. It’s a chance and it may not work, but I’m willing to give it a try.
For the sake of knowing my mind a little better and once more, enjoying my homework! Let’s face it; my age is as good a time as any to start enjoying learning, because it’s not likely to stop anytime soon, I’ve got a long way to go.