To the Successes of Second Year!

So, I’ve realised that my content isn’t often very personal yet funnily enough I find blogs with an intimate perspective the most interesting to read, so boom read a bit about my life.

Studying Creative Writing and English Literature as subjects at degree level has probably been the most rewarding feat I’ve undertaken. I know that no writer can ever reach the tip of perfection and my course has been at times a rocky cliff path – hard, but worth the climb.

After the first round of writing assessments in January, I was really upset to find out I’d just about passed. I’ve often been told that the jump from first to second year is huge and people weren’t lying. It’s hard to go from the quiet yet enthusiastic confidence to low, wavering expectations. The main reason for my low mark were grammar confusions, which I overcame in my more recent work (via this fab resource from Oxford Dictionaries). The further I advance into my degree, the pickier my professors are to get my writing to publishable standard (and deep down I thank them for it!)

So, returning to now – My expectations weren’t met and instead I was thoroughly surprised! Today I looked at my marks for three creative writing modules to find out I got a first for my short film, my independent project, and a 2:1 for performance poetry. Choosing to study a screenwriting module was done through curiosity and my need to push my writing abilities to their limits. More than anything, I think screenwriting improved my dialogue a hell of a lot, with the lesson being: Dialogue is only relevant if it reveals character, contains comedy, or advances plot. Although not my preferred form, I really did enjoy writing a short film over the year and I think after taking on my professor’s feedback I’m going to send it off to places and see where that leads me.

The other first I received was for my independent project called The Unfair-y Tales, which I previously uploaded to this blog for feedback purposes.  This was laughable. My original idea for a project fell through, and three months before the deadline I changed my project completely and took on the feat of 5,000 words (doesn’t seem like much in that time frame but there was also planning, research, proofing etc). To begin with, I felt like this project was a pain in the ass, used to rob my of time that could be spent on other modules but it’s given me such a wonderful experience – sharing my writing. That sounds silly but at the beginning of my course I’d only share my work with close friends or suffer through the feedback dissection of my work in seminars. The aim of the project was to become more comfortable with sharing my work, and the way it happened was through doughnut bribery feedback workshops and showing my work to people who had loads to very little experience in storytelling. I found it really exciting and I think it’s helped me to toughen up when people don’t like my work or give comments I don’t agree with.

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My absolute favourite module this year was performance poetry, where I got a 2:1 for my own spoken word and a first for my critical review of performance poetry events. Spoken word has quickly become one of my favourite forms to write, it’s so therapeutic for me. I sometimes find that the complexity of page poetry deters me from writing the things I’m burning to say, yet this isn’t the case with spoken word – it feels so easy and fantastic to both write and share it through a mic. Through this module, I’ve come across kickass poets like Hollie McNish, Miko Berry, and Malaika Kegode (and seen them all perform in person!) My performance poetry course has forced me to get out and explore the Bristol and Bath spoken word scene, and I’ll tell you, it’s like tasting chocolate for the first time. You have to go back for more. In third year, I’m determined to improve my performance and written style by going to as many open mics and poetry slams as possible, plus I’m going to intern at Rhyme and Reason this coming September, where I’ll be posting about my RaR experiences under the phrase: LiteRaRy.

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I’ve also got a few freelance opportunities this summer related to journalism which I’ve never tried before but am delighted to take on. But more than anything, starting this blog up in November was frankly the best decision for my passion and mental health. Running this blog has been nothing but joy, it motivates me to write and express myself on a regular basis, which I can sometimes struggle with. I want to keep this blog going for as long as it makes me happy and as long as I want to write (which is hopefully for years to come!) And I want to thank you, reader, for thinking that some of my words, maybe not all of them, but some, are worth reading. So, if this babbling is supposed to boil down to anything, I want to say above all that persistence with writing is key – your own progress will exceed your hopes with hard work!


Header Image:  Syd Wachs

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