writing with a purpose

Last night the first class of Creative Writing knocked me sideways. It awoke something that has been dormant in me for years. And it was a little frightening, while at the same time exciting.

The class has an ambitious outline. We’re going to look at stylistic techniques, grammar, narrative structures, linguistic theory etc. Some of these things I already know, some of them I probably use without thinking about it, other things are new and may or may not prove to be useful. The most important thing to me is that I don’t suddenly start writing with the technique consciously interfering, but that the new things I will learn somehow will merge into my already existing style.

I don’t know. It’s difficult to explain to someone who doesn’t write, because a lot of the time I am not aware of the mechanism behind my own need to put pen to paper.

Another part of the class is reading the other participants’ works. I know from attending similar classes (with less professional approaches) that this can be a bit of a…hit and miss. There will always be people who simply don’t have “it”, who just don’t engage the reader and whose texts are flat and dull. I will not pass judgement this early on, but already from the first exercises we did I have gotten some sense of how the other people express themselves in written form.

As an added ego boost, we ended up discussing and analysing the excerpt/sketch that I had brought with me. (We had all been asked to bring something along and next time we will be looking at everyone else’s texts.) My text was very short, compared to the others, who had spat out 3-4 pages each. One reader already remarked that I write in a very condensed style, which I know is true. I don’t care too much for long descriptive passages or adjectives or even poetic imagery to some extent.

Apparently, my text provided a lot of food for thought. Not that it was particularly provocative, I think. It was just very open-ended. I loved listening to the others trying to work out just what was happening in the text. (The author wasn’t allowed to speak during the discussion, only add comments at the end.) It gave me a lot of good input and ideas and also confirmed that I had managed to achieve what I had set out to do.

I’ll add the text below for anyone who’s interested. It is by no means finished, but more of a starting point for an idea I have in my head, which I may share at a later stage.

Next assignment/challenge is to write 2 pages of “narrative, during which there are shifts from standard language to highly musical language.” Think about that one for a while…


The room overlooks the approach from the southern suburbs. Cars rush into a tunnel underneath us.
I draw the curtains close.
You say: “Don’t you want them to see?”
Well, what is there to see? But later, in my head, I imagine we are like a television set broadcasting onto the hurried commuters.
Your cock sways slightly as you let it free of your underpants. It makes me smile, partly because it’s like something out of a porn movie – the male star showing off his membrum virilis, but partly because it’s mine. I do that to you.
It is better this time, less nervous and more melodic.
I find myself thinking I should not think so much, not make mental notes of details, listen to your breathing, observe your thrusting or forget about myself.
And still I want to forget about myself, but in a completely different way. For a moment I do and it is good. We fall together, sweaty and exhausted, but happy.
But then the mind awakens again and wants to analyse every gesture, every word, every facial expression. It makes me very tired. I want to shut it up and just let the moment be as it is. But there you have it. It won’t be just anything. That is for someone else. I will not let us be ordinary and predictable, like other lovers.