Learning to Drive

L Plate

Learning to Drive…

What’s that got to do with creative writing?

Well, I was driving home from my friend’s house the other day and started to think about a time when I didn’t know how to drive. I was taken back to my very first lesson and tried to remember how it felt; turning the key in the engine for the first time, not knowing how to get into gear, move the car, steer properly etc…It was really difficult to remember ‘not knowing.’

When we think back, there are probably lots of things we can’t remember learning. We can’t imagine it not being second nature for example, to ride a bike, to read and of course, to write. Can you remember when you first learnt to form the letters and then the words? Can you remember when writing moved away from just being functional to a pleasure, a form of expression, a craft even?

Or has something stopped you from progressing with this? Does it feel daunting?

To go back to the driving – it took me a really long time to learn. My first driving instructor told me that it was going to take me a long time and then he retired, so I was assigned another instructor. It was indeed the start of a long journey! And I am still learning all the time. With driving, with everything. Sure, we get better with practice. But there is always more to learn isn’t there? We learn the basics – we learn how to form the letters, we learn how to steer the car. Then one day we are writing words, then sentences, then paragraphs and pages or we are driving out of the cul de sac and into a busy high street and the North Circular and then the motorway…

Creative Writes raw materials
Creative Writes raw materials

Some people who attend my class consider themselves to be writers and some don’t. Some just find themselves there or are sent by somebody else. Here are comments from two Creative Writes Workshop participants who didn’t really plan to come and/or certainly didn’t know what to expect:

“So- I was never expecting to get involved. I am no writer but it was brilliant. The format worked very well, not intimidating and definitely got easier as the evening went on. Thank you!” JL – Participant at a Creative Writes Community Workshop in a Hair Salon, Muswell Hill, N10

“Not dissimilar to riding a bicycle and looking over your shoulder to see she’s whipped off your stabilizers, Nichola is one of those…individuals that can bring out someone’s creativity without them even realising. Until they look down to see the pages and pages in front of them, that is. I was gifted one of Nichola’s course by someone that wanted to give me a kick up the backside to get writing again as my creative block was in danger of driving both of us up the wall… I have them both to thank for having not stopped writing since.” SP – Creative Writes Block of Workshops at North Bank/Muswell Hill Methodist Church, Muswell Hill, N10 (You can find this full comment and others, on our testimonials page: http://www.creativewrites.co.uk/testimonials/)

Learner car

We all learn at a different pace of course. Some people I teach say that creative writing comes easily to them, that it’s like breathing – that it has a life of its own, that they have to do it every day and nothing can stop them. For others, it’s something that they have always wanted to progress with, to do more of, to build into their daily routine. But they haven’t. Or they have started on a project – come a long way with it and then stopped. That happens a lot. There is perhaps a pressure to be perfect, to reap the rewards of something we have put our efforts into. It’s hard to let go, to just do it. But even if you don’t feel like you are learning, you are. You really are. Even if you don’t remember how you got there.

It’s a journey.

If you feel like coming with Creative Writes on a journey, we have exciting creative writing workshops this Autumn at two inspiring locations in Muswell Hill, N10. We have two Workshops in September 2017 – Words & Wine Three on Thursday 14th September and a brand new Themed Workshop on Wednesday 27th September – From Whose Point of View? Our one to one Masterclasses and Skype sessions continue to run at times to suit you and gift vouchers are available. The only workshops that can not be booked on the website are Words & Wine – you need to email me for that: [email protected]

Otherwise, our September – December 2017 Workshops are all here: http://www.creativewrites.co.uk/courses/

See you soon!

Bye for now,

Nichola x

Blog originally published here.

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