At the end of the tunnel, that is. In February I wrote a post about the revision course I’m taking. Back then I was on Lesson Three (out of 22) after a little bit of a stop start. Now I’m on Lesson Twelve and I can’t say it’s got much easier butI am beginning to understand my own writerly ways and what works for me. Last week I was ready to give up on the course. This was not a whimsical decision; I have laid out precious and scarce euros so I really need to justify packing it all in. Two things brought me to this crossroads of shall I or shan’t I?
Firstly, I struggled with the ‘language’ of the course. The provider knows her stuff, of that there is no doubt, and has a distinct voice. It’s not that I don’t understand it, it’s more that it was kind of turning me off. This is not a criticism, but more an insight into one of the reasons behind my struggles as I realised that it was a matter of learning styles. I am much more of a visual learner who prefers a room of her own rather than a classroom. The course is presented much more logical and verbal and encourages participation in a virtual classroom.
Tell me and I forget; Teach me and I remember; Involve me and I learn
Secondly, I was pre-empting the next lesson (so perhaps I’m more logical than I thought!) and therefore had completed some of the exercises in part before I was supposed to. I continually felt as though I was having to go back over work I’d already done. Part of the problem is that the project I’m using has been a long time in coming to this stage – yes, another dusty manuscript – which I had performed some kind of analysis in an attempt to kick it into shape. It wasn’t a raw, recent project which may have been a better option.
I spent a few days, battling with myself, feeling a failure and worrying about wasting my time, money and sanity. I wrote out my angst in my morning journal, to try and find a way through. Which I did. I came to the the conclusion that I’ve paid for the course and therefore I can make it work for me. If some parts don’t cut the grade, well that’s fine, I can take the ethos of the particular ‘lesson’ and put it into my own language. One that I understand. I also took some time out to read a summary of the future lessons, in fact I transcribed them so I could see the path I was following and where it would end up so I know that things will (or will not) be covered as I go through the remainder of the course (told you I was a visual kind of girl).
By perseverance the snail reached the ark
Once I decided that the manuscript was worth saving and that I could, and have, use a lot of the course objectives to work through the changes required in a way that suited my style, I breathed a sigh of relief. I hadn’t been transported back to those classroom days of immovable teachers, who knew their stuff but couldn’t, or dare I say wouldn’t, translate the knowledge into my word. I was in control. I could make this work if I wanted it enough and my euro’s would be well spent. Job done.
The Promise will be published later this year and you heard it here first.