Over the summer, I enrolled on a little online course called the Superlatively Rude Summer School.
If that sounds familiar, that’s either because 1) you were enrolled on it yourself, 2) you saw me talk about it relentlessly on Twitter, or 3) you’ve seen the short stories I’ve posted written because of that very course.
When Laura announced that she was going to do a six-week online version of her writing course, there was no doubt in my mind that I wasn’t going to participate. Having been to two of her IRL workshops previously, I had experienced first-hand the power of Laura’s teaching prowess. Honestly, that woman is a fountain of writing knowledge and full of empowerment.
Doing an extended, online version of her workshop was great – the video lectures she posted every week felt like being in the room with her, the exercises she gave us were engaging, and the feedback she provided us after submitting our assignments each week were endlessly valuable. My creative muscles were flexed like they had never been flexed before, as I worked towards not just a final project, but a good final project. #SRSummerSchool gave me permission to get creative every week, and I really valued the process of learning and actively honing my craft.
So much so, I have something to announce…
I’M STARTING MY MASTERS DEGREE THIS MONTH!!!
Doing a Master’s is something that’s been on my mind since first year of university. I know, right? I remember sitting with one of my tutors (we’ll call him Hot Adam because my gaaaaahd, was he dreamy) after a seminar one day. He was fresh off doing his own Master’s in Cultural Studies, and was in his first year of training to be a proper lecturer, and delighted that I was taking an interest in postgraduate study so early on. I picked his brains about the kind of things he studied, the modules he took, and even a little bit on how he funded the course. I won’t lie, 60% of that afternoon was a genuiene, keen interest about postgraduate life and the other 40% was wanting to be in the same room as him for an extended period of time because, I’ll reiterate, Hot Adam was dreamy af. (On the small, tiny, minuscule chance you might be reading this, Adam, I’m sorry I’ve objectified you in such a manner. But HOT DAMN)
It occured to me during #SRSummerSchool that many of my favourite writers and bloggers have studied creative writing in some capacity or another. I think that it is no coincidence why I am drawn to these particular writers; they took the time to study their craft and access areas of their writing they may never have known existed before. And I think that’s why I love Laura’s courses and workshops so much, because I’m actively taking time to learn about what makes a good piece of writing for my standards. Not analysing a piece of text to death à la A Level English Literature, but taking inspiration from my favourite authors, seeing what makes me tick, and using various techniques to make myself better.
My hunger for creative writing knows no bounds, and doing workshops and writing courses has only intensfied that. It’s made me realise just how much I want to learn about structure, driving stories forward, developing my own distinctive voice, characterisation, and look at other prose as a writer, and not just a reader.
And so, three years after graduating, and a whole six years since starting university, I am finally embarking on a Master’s degree in something I am so, so passionate about. I couldn’t be more excited.
Today is my last day of full-time employment. Tomorrow is the first day of a whole new adventure. Or well, it will be in two weeks. But I’ve got some exciting stuff on the pipeline to be working on until now and then.
Are you going ‘back to school’ in any capacity this month? What’s the one thing you would really, really love to study, even if it doesn’t exist? (I mean, they have degrees in Beyonce now, so you may find it may well exist!