I have never been on a writing course. Creative or otherwise. (And on that topic why are Creative Writing courses so-called; are there Dumb-Down-Your-Imaginative-Writing courses?) Neither have I ever been to a writers' conference, joined a writing group, or taken part in any of the activities other writers blog about. Perhaps I should.
I got into writing because I wanted to grow my hair long. You heard - my hair. I offer proof. This picture was taken on the set for a Curly Wurly stills shoot by John Turner. (Those old enough might remember Terry Scott starred in the commercials.)
My writing started young.
Up to the point where I started on the 'O' level syllabus, I and another boy at school would swop places as to who would come first in class for English, which then mostly consisted of writing short stories. Once grammar raised its punctuated head I lost interest.
To cut a long story short, the exasperation of my parents eventually drove me to a dull, administrative post at IBM. Looking out of the window one day, I saw a shoot taking place in the car park under the eye of the only man in the company who had LONG hair. He was the advertising manager. I handed in my notice within the week.
It took me three months to get a job as a copywriter. I learnt what skills I have with the written word on the job, which is not to say every copywriter is a successful prose writer but I was always rated as a long copy copywriter.
I wouldn't mind attending a writers' conference though, generally, I find conferences too long-winded with the occasional gem buried under a pile of generalities, obscurities and platitudes. Maybe I've just attended the wrong conferences. They are, of course, networking opportunities but until my book is complete I would feel something of a fraud.
My book is nearing completion so, who knows, one day I might bestride a conference with my head held high.A prize of this picture of a Curly Wurly to anyone who can persuade me of the benefits of a writing group.