Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Writers are made, not born

A few years back, I took a creative writing class in Swedish, online. It was horrible. Awful. Pathetic. No criticism from the teacher, at all, just encouraging words for everybody, about everything. How the hell are you supposed to learn anything that way?

So it was with some doubt that I signed up for Creative Writing in English, at Gävle Högskola, the year after. I shouldn't have worried. It turned out to be an excellent writing community helmed by a passionate and knowledgeable teacher/mentor, with so much talent among the writers I experience a dizzying combination of inspiration, awe and inferiority complex every time I meet them.

The class is completely online, aside from one meeting per term, and has moved to a folkhögskola (kind of like a community college, for any non-Swedes out there) since I started. I have completed my four terms, but still hang around, as do many others.

If anyone is interested in participating in our community, let me know. The term is in full swing, but you can sign up for next year. There are four deadlines each term, with a selection of reading and writing, some obligatory, some voluntary.

In three weeks, it's time for this term's meeting, at Storvik outside Gävle. I really look forward to it, since it's always an inspiring (but exhausting) weekend, but I'm also dreading it, since it will be two years since my friend Henrik passed away on the Thursday when I'm supposed to go up there. Perhaps I'll use the feelings that day will no doubt spawn as some sort of inspiration too.

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