Developing

I had all these big plans to complete a course writhing my 30:thirty experience, and gain a whole lot from it. The thing is though, I was expecting to do a 6 month certificate, or some kind of course at TAFE and come out the other end a little more knowledgable, a bit more self aware.

What happened though, was pretty different from what I originally planned. There wasn’t 6 months, and I wasn’t a little more knowledgable.

Now the first part is fairly simple to equate, it has not been 6 months in to my 30 before thirty adventure, so it’s pretty obvious that I haven’t done a course of such length.

I have ticked the personal development course off of the list though.

Yay.

Yes, yay.

Was it what I expected?

Oh, hell no!

After much contemplation on what to complete for my course for personal development, more than a friend or two made the suggestion about it being a writing course. On the spur of a moment I located a course, to be completed online, enrolled, and there ya go, Bob’s ya uncle.

I didn’t give myself a moment to plan, prepare, or even really understand what I was going to gain from the course.

I write here, on Twenty-nein, on a pretty purely personal front. I write what is on my mind, straight from my mind, and sensor it a tad for mum’s benefit (still not enough apparently).

I signed up for a ‘Stage 1 in Creative Writing’.

We’ve all done creative writing. Right? I remember a story I wrote in year 3 (age 9, approx) about the girl who lost her name. My god did she have a hard time finding it again. From this experience solely, I declared that the 5 week creative writing course was going to be a breeze!

Was it?

Ha!

Was it?

Ha!

Amateur!

No.

No, it was not a breeze.

Considering I had dragged myself through a challenge of not multitasking at the same fucking time, no, it was not a breeze. I took this course on at the expense of my housework, not to mention my text message replying ability, and it was certainly not made easier by the fact that my 2 cats are ever so social and like to walk all over ones keyboards and rub their asses in your face!

I know I am sitting here and making it seem like a drag and a completely difficult time to complete my course. Well, I didn’t say that.

Did I personally develop? Become more self aware?

I spent 5 weeks thinking about nothing other than the fact I had the course to do.

I spent 5 weeks trying to locate every spare moment I could to complete my course.

I spent 5 weeks with a stress over my chest at the tasks asked of me every week.

I spent 5 weeks challenged.

The stress? Required. The sort of stress that is needed to change, develop. Become self aware. To personally develop.

I developed more than I could have ever damn imagined!

I write for the blog and get a handful of mates tell me they had a good laugh, and on a great day, a great post, I have people tell me that I inspired them. It feels amazing to hear those words, but when you’re faced with a moment when you want to move a greater audience, what do you do?

Challenge.

You challenge

Yourself. You challenge yourself!

I went in to this course with a sense of cockiness, being honest, and came out humble as ever.

I enjoyed it. I was pushed. I took criticisms with positivity and wrapped it all up in to my own little bubble of concentration and went for gold all over again.

The greatest thing that this course taught me was that writing is not easy. Writing can be easy, but it is not easy. To write you have to not only be your own culler, but you have to develop a circle of other writers to help do the culling for you. That’s how you move people, getting out of those comfort zones and really telling it for everything you’ve bloody well got!

Now starting this course, and completing it, has led me pretty naturally in to the next chapter of 30:thirty.

To write a book.

Well, begin writing a book.

That such thing is quite a journey and to aim to complete a book in less than a year is pretty much not really the way it works. Fine. I’ve got time. I had the sense to put ‘Start writing a book’ on the list, and not ‘write a book’.

I have inspiration. I am sure it is going to be a hell of a road ahead but I am here and accepting the challenge.

That 5 week ‘walk in the park’ course challenged the fuck out of this girl, and so I walk in full steam ahead completely (un)prepared for the next part of the journey, but excited none the less.

On that note, I am going to share a scene from the last part of my course. We didn’t write short stories or whole plots, but rather learnt the basics of individual scenes and structure within a book. I’ve got plenty more learning where that came from.

I am pretty nervous to share this. Why? I don’t know. I guess I am putting something out there that I connected with and that I am proud of, and so I imagine anyone would be pretty nervous to share that with others.

I do hope you enjoy it, not even kidding but if there is any feedback anyone has in regards to my piece, I’d love to hear it! Knowledge is power and criticism is growth, constructively. Enjoy *insert smiley face here*. I’m a bit happy and proud #understatement.

Damon studies himself in the dull light of the bathroom. He has aged more in the past few weeks than in as long as he can remember. The laugh lines of his face have become gullies of sorrow, stress. The white of his eyes now a shade of pink. “29 going on 40” he sighs to himself.

In the bedroom, his wife is lit up by the crack in the door, still fully dressed. “Luc?” Still asleep. Sleep? What’s that these days? The bedroom is a frenzy of dirty clothes. Sleep, eat, hospital, repeat. He spends any moment he can there at the hospital with her, but he sees the resentment in her eyes when he leaves to go to work. What am I meant to do? I’m helpless at the hospital for 16 hours a day! I feel helpless! He feels guilty.

The pierce of the phone cuts through the silence and within milliseconds Lucy is bolt upright.
Riiiiiiiiiiiiing, Riiiiiiiiiiiiing.
Frantically she reaches for the phone.
Riiiiiiiiiiiiing, Riiiiiiiiiiiiing.
“Luc, I’ll get this, OK? I’ll get it.”
Riiiiiiiiiiiiing, Riiiiiiiiiiiiing.
She stops the search but does not calm. The air in the room becomes dense with anticipation.
“Hello, Damon speaking.”
“Mr. Wilkes, I’m Nurse Callaway from the NICU at Prince George Hospital, are you able to speak?”
“Ye… Yes,” he stops breathing. “I can.”
“Mr. Wilkes, we’d like you and your wife to head to the hospital as soon as possible please, we have some urgent matters to discuss in regards to Jasmine.” His blood turns cold. The taste of metal hits his tongue and panic creeps up his chest. Lucy’s reaches for her mouth as she registers her husband’s concern, her eyes an image of pure terror. They’ve had updates in the night before, but have never had to go in.
“Mr. Wilkes? Are you there? How soon can you make it please? It’s very important.”
“We will be there in 20 minutes.” His hand drops like lead and the phone slips from his grasp. The nurse’s voice trails down the line with doctor names and emergency entrances.
“Damon.” He stares ahead in to space, doesn’t register Lucy’s hysteria. “Damon! Damon!! What? Whaaaaaat? We need to go? Daaaaamonnnnn.” A warm droplet trickles down his face. “Damon! Damon!! Why aren’t you moving? Damon!! We need to go!” She is making her way towards him in slow motion. The pound of her fist to his chest jolts him back to the present. He has to move. He grabs her and holds her head against his chest, his heartbeat sending a temporary sense of calm. “We’re going Luc. We’re going now.” He must move. This is no time to stop. “We’re going now Luc. Shhhh shhhh. Come on. Let’s go see our girl.”
This can’t be good.

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