writing class

So in the last post, I mentioned being in a writing class….

As an employee, I can take up to 8 credits a quarter for $30. I’ve been meaning to take something; even got most of the way towards registering for a GIS (geographical information systems) class in the spring, but it was full and even the waitlist was full. As a “special student”, I’m basically at the end of the line for registration, so that was a no-go.

But then the middle of last month I got this email about a writing class that had spots in it for the 2nd summer session, and figured: why not?

I sat in on a class, decided it sounded interesting, got all the paperwork bits done, and started at the end of July. The first night (it’s two nights a week) I realized that the last time I was in a college class was 17 years ago. For reals. Bleh. And it’s both easier than it was then — which is partially about my interest, partially about summer classes — and harder, mostly because I’m not used to doing homework anymore.

I’m in a critique group, about which all I feel appropriate in saying is that I missed having a writers’ group but also it’s really frustrating to be in wildly divergent places with writing & critiquing. I’m learning some InDesign to do layout on a book, which is pretty cool. This weekend we have a two-day retreat thing: one day of hiking in the Hoh rainforest (the topic of my first freewrite today), and one day of workshop-type activities. So far that’s been a freewrite based on yesterday’s hike, an exercise turning a scene in a graphic novel into a narrative, and turning a tiny bit of our own writing into a page of a graphic novel. (Note: I am a terrible drawer.)

The whole thing is only 5 weeks, which is a bit whirlwind/overwhelming. But as always, for me it’s good to have deadlines. We have three writing assignments in those five weeks: the first, which I turned in last week, is my first attempt at actually writing the bindweed essay I’ve had in my head for at least five years. For the second, I’m hoping to do something related to my most recent NaNoWriMo attempt, although it’s been so long that I’m not sure I can just pick up where I left off; I may need to write a sketch or a story in that world, but not in the main plot. The third will be a refinement of one of the first two, intended for reading aloud in front of the class. I have no idea which one I’ll use; we’ll see when we get there!

In any case, I’m glad I’m taking it; both for myself as a writer and also as an employee of the college. It’s good to be in the student side of things once in a while.