My aims in doing A215 were to find out whether I could be an adequate writer, discover whether I can apply myself to writing (this is still in question), to improve my writing and ultimately take a step towards applying for a Masters in Creative Writing (if I still wanted to).
I’m moderately pleased with what I can achieve when I set my mind to it: I’m pleased with my marks and I am beginning to have a vague understanding of the very basic rules of writing. I work well to a deadline (but not at all without one, damn me), and I can write quickly.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that my first drafts (like most people’s), are absolutely awful but redeemable, generally.
And I have applied for places on three MA courses, starting in September 2010.
But very little of what I have learnt in the past few months is due directly to A215. True, the main things I have been writing are the assignments, and it is motivating me, but I’m learning more from self-editing, friends, and reading writing blogs than I am from the (occasionally vague and waffy) BRB chapters.
Admittedly, some are useful, and I am looking forward to the Editing section, but it seems that a prior knowledge or backup research is always necessary to get the most out of the BRB, and actually that the chapter content is better approached as a structural guide for further reading than an actual reference book.
I would love the interactive nature of the course if it worked. I’m sure that many people get a lot out of the forums and their tutor groups, but that’s not the case for me. My tutor group is silent (I’m as responsible for this as anyone, after my initial flounders), and the course forum is too huge.
My conclusions about this course are that I am glad I did it: it has fulfilled the role for which I wanted it. But I couldn’t recommend it to another prospective student, particularly not one working full-time.
Is this fair? What does anyone else think?