Started classes last night at British Council. This group is larger than my last, and quite wonderful in its diversity - a broad sweep of ages (early 20's to late '60's), races, nationalities (Malaysian, Indonesian, British) and professions (including engineers, a hip-hop musician, a housewife). Despite this, they seemed to gell very quickly and didn't get too freaked out at the apparently loony things I got them to do ("Don't think! Throw grammar punctuation spelling out the window!")
I always find it fascinating just how much new writers block themselves by telling themselves "This isn't very good...", "I'm not very good at ...", "I can't write as well as the rest of you".
Just have fun guys. Write crap! Write the worst crap in Malaysia - the world even. Just write tons of it. Send that in-your-head-critic over to KLCC for some shopping, and only invite him back at the end of the course to help you polish your work.
The irony is, of course, that once a writer claims that freedom, some pretty exciting stuff turns up on the page. And there were surprises even in the first session.
Many thanks to my friends at British Council for advertising and organising the course and taking the admin burden off my shoulders. And I love the off-the-library classroom with its whizzy computerised white board.
Life is also much much easier now that I have someone to help me out on a flexible, part-time basis. Doris is gradually taking over all the routine tasks (photocopying, typing lists, keeping records) which frees me up no end. Best of all she is genuinely interested in what I do and is already making very good suggestions for how I can work more efficiently. (I need that as I'm not the most organised, as you will have gathered!)
Yep. Things are going well.