Comment: Worries of a Rookie Writer, by Dan Hunt
A first year creative writing student reflects on the anxiety, and the community, of writing.
It can be daunting being a first year student of creative writing.
As you’re finding your feet, it feels like everyone’s watching. You don’t want to speak out too loudly and be that obnoxious first year; then again, you don’t want to be that person that stays out of the action, because it’s easier being invisible.
As writers, we can’t afford to be invisible – not if we want to get anywhere. So, why should a first-year student feel self-conscious?
Admittedly, I’ve no idea what I’m doing at times. Neither have I found my place as a writer… but I think I’m ready for a challenge, to go ahead and try.
But will I ever make it? Will I make the big time like JK Rowling and go down in history like Tolkien? Or will I simply make it through University alive?
I understand there’s a considerable amount of rhetoric here, but isn’t that the point? We worry, we question, we get through things. Whether as a first year scrambling around like Velma looking for her glasses, or a third year with panic about the future and what’s next, we all have the same question: will I make it?
We’ll all measure success in our own ways of course, but no matter how much of an accomplished writer you are, you will always worry. It’s human. I think that’s what I’ve found really useful at Falmouth – mutual panic. It somehow calms you down knowing that the successful, award-winning novelist is just as concerned as the guy sending out his first manuscripts or the girl going to her first writing workshop.
There’ll always be competition, although I think we all stick together because we’re still those anxious rookie writers deep down that get confused about the positioning of an apostrophe and whether the oxford comma is essential (by the way, it is).
So, will we make it? I was going to quote someone, but it would be ridiculous to quote someone that has actually made it, achieved all they wished.
Instead, the little Yorkshire lad who’s out of his depth will leave you with this: if nobody else, writers will support you.