Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

  • Mood:

Pushing for the next level up

When I used to have time to play computer games, I would sometimes stick, unable to complete a particular level and end up feeling that it was impossible. If the game allowed it, I'd often try moving on to the next level up, where everything was faster and harder and even more hopeless. I'd struggle away at that for a bit, doing really badly and then drop back to the level I had previously found impossible -- and often found that it now seemed quite straightforward.

I'm feeling a bit like that with my writing at the moment. I'm just coming to the end of a 12-week on-line Open University poetry course called Start Writing Poetry. Boy was it hard! I've never written poetry before, other than the occasional comic verse and a string of haikus, so it was all new to me. I'd never even heard of a vilanelle or a sestina, and here I was writing them, along with freer non-rhyming poetry and sonnets.

But the interesting thing is, even though I haden't been working on my novel to speak of over December, I just sat down last weeked and got straight back into it and it seemed, if not exactly easy, then easier than before.

I think for me poetry was that next level up and having struggled to do something much harder, it's developed my writing muscles and made the fiction seem easier by comparison.

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