My fiction 'MA'

Talking to a couple of friends who've done/are thinking of doing an OU degree has given me the idea that I could do a self-study ‘MA' in writing fiction over the next two years. I like this idea – not because I want to do a real MA (no interest in writing ‘literature', or in being graded), but because it gives some structure to my new venture, and a generous amount of time to give it a go. I'm thinking of using the first year to play and experiment: gathering ideas and inspiration, and writing all kinds of short pieces – rather as I did at the start of ‘Chaos & Delight'. Then the second year will be about writing the draft of a novel. Or if by the end of the first year I've realized that fiction really isn't for me after all, I’ll use the second year to experiment with different creative forms until I find something that does work.

I'm worried I’ll meander along and run out of steam in a couple of months, which is what seems to have happened in all my previous attempts at fiction. Well, perhaps ‘run into a blank wall' would be more accurate: but in any case, I’ve given up at that point. So I nearly signed up to StoryWonk’s new ‘Sufficiently Advanced Magic’ class, which promises (during October) to get you ready to write an SF or fantasy novel during NaNoWriMo (= writing a novel in the month of November). These genres aren’t my first love, but I reckon I’ll need to write a couple of bad novels before I can produce anything worth reading, so I thought the course might get me through the first attempt.

But this morning I woke up with second thoughts, and have realized I need to be patient and to find my own way through this maze. And stay focused on enjoying the journey, rather than trying to reach my destination.