Today was the first day of my second semester in college. I had four classes, but to be honest I only cared about the creative writing course, and that was the last one I had.
I have been looking forward to this class all break and then today seemed as if it were going by as slow as can be. Let me just say that it was worth the wait! You might think that it is ridiculous of me to be so excited about a course after only one class session, but knowing my professor I am sure that I will not regret my choice.
After a very brief introduction of the course, the professor distributed a short story that we had to read and analyze in class. Guess who the writer of the short story is? ERNEST HEMINGWAY! After reading A Moveable Feast last semester I basically fell in love with Hemingway and the fact that we started this course by Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants made me the happiest person on Earth in that particular moment. Later on, we had discussed the short story, spoken about it and given instructions about our next assignment. We moved on to an in-class writing exercise, which started in quite an unconventional way. We had to do some kind of breathing exercise, while the professor was depicting a setting that was quite vague involving two people on an empty street, then he simply told us “When you hear one of them speak in your mind, that’s when you start writing”.
The idea of waiting for a voice to be heard inside your mind is rather terrifying. And even when you do hear something, you are scared to write it down in case there is nothing else to follow up. Once I got over that first blockage and figured I just had to write those two words that I kept hearing, I found myself unable to stop. That was one of the most challenging and interesting exercises I’ve ever done. It felt as if my hand was just following some movement, racing against the clock and trying to catch up on the ideas flowing through my mind. It was so overwhelming and quite draining that by the time I was told to stop and we started discussing the process we had just gone through I felt like crying, I did fight back the tears and keep a straight face though, as straight as can be in that situation anyway. When I was asked what I thought of the whole thing, I told the professor that it was interesting in the sens that I got to a point where I did not realise what I was writing, I was just doing it because I heard the voices in the back of my head, and that I still have to go over it and see what I wrote, which is when he replied saying “Writing is rewriting”.
For the next class session I have to finish what I started and make it four pages long. The fact that I stopped because it was the end of class makes me scared to pick up again. I have yet to sit down and create the same kind of atmosphere and aura I was in in the classroom earlier today to try and finish that first draft. I have a feeling that you will be reading about my experiences in that course quite often until next May.