Yes, I’ve done it! I’ve finished it!

For the past age, well 14 months, I have been struggling with a module of my distance learning creative writing course. I’ve at last completed it. I had begun to think that I never would. I am still not sure why I have struggled so much. Having completed so many courses in my time – O levels, AS and A levels, Degree, Professional Qualifications, Therapy qualifications (hypnotherapy, reiki, energy field therapy, tuina, anatomy and physiology), two other modules covering short stories, plays and poems and more, I have never has so much resistance to a course as with this one.

I was determined to finish it, even though it was like treading through glue. I’m quite pleased with some of my assignments, although whether I can leave them as a record or whether I should shred them is debatable. They deal with some quite challenging areas of my life, including my father’s impact on my spirituality and the day my first husband moved out. Anyway it is done.

What I have realised, is how this course has been stifling my creativity. It has been like a weight hanging around my neck. Since I finished it and sent off my last assignment the poetry and story ideas have begun to flow again and I have remembered how to breathe. So, watch this space.

What frees up your creative juices?

By Morton S. Gray

Author of romantic suspense novels.


  1. Morton, well done for sticking with it and completing the course.
    I do understand what you mean though by the course stifling your creativity. When i was at school i did really well in a structured environment but as an adult i realised i am more creative and innovative when i actually get on with doing what i love.
    So strangely enough, whilst reading about things around me gives me ideas, its the actual process of writing that opens up my creativity.


  2. So glad you finished it and your creativity is flowing again. I'm a bit like Kiru in my writing. It is the actual sitting down and getting stuck in that inspires me and when I do get stuck I just read lots until it comes back.


  3. Good for you Morton!

    It's funny how it works isn't it? You do these courses to inspire you and give you a structure to work towards but, in the end, you can grow away from it and crave more that only YOU can give yourself.

    I agree with Kiru and Doris, for me it's the writing and reading that gives me my creative ideas. Also walking seems to give me time to work out ideas and process thoughts.

    Good luck with moving forward hun x


  4. Very glad to hear that you've completed the course – many give up. Also that your creative juices are flowing again.

    Out of curiosity – has the course helped you develop as a writer, leading to this new burst of writing energy, even though you may not have seen it at the time? Or was it just 'hard work'.

    I find it difficult to write when all is not well in my world. At the moment Im going through a bit of a rethink on where I want to take my writing, so Im just writing quick outlines for ideas.

    Hope your new creativity bears much fruit!


  5. Hi Morton

    Things like that really can stymie your creativity. It is very difficult however knowing how to deal with it. I always think one of the keys to success in writing, and in life in general is the ability to COMPLETE something. There are lots of people out there who are successful, whose talent is no greater than others but who have the drive to say, 'I'm going to take this thing through to the end.' They then have something to show for their hard work whereas others put in the hard work but fall at the last hurdle and don't have anything to show. Glad the creativity is streaming in again! Good luck with all the sparkly new projects.


  6. I agree that the ability to persevere in writing as in life is so important. Sometimes it's the slogging through things that yields great results in the end. Maybe you won't love what you wrote but you might find that having done the work to write it has improved your writing.

    Or maybe it's just the thrill of being out of school, so to speak.


  7. Thank you for your comments.

    I am pleased that I stuck to it and finished the course, even if at times it got pretty painful. The strange thing is that I want to write my autobiography, but feel as if I’ve only scratched the surface – plenty to write about see. Lol.

    Creativity is definitely bubbling. I have poetry diarrhoea!

    Yes it has improved my technique and writing spectrum, as you were encouraged to write using various techniques.

    Strange it is only this module that has stalled things, but I’m going to take a break to get a few things out of my system before considering a new module. I quite fancy children’s’ writing, particularly while I have a seven year old at home.

    I definitely have that out of school holiday feeling!


  8. It'll probably take you by surprise just how much you learnt without realising it, it's not always obvious while you're stressing about finishing assignments. Enjoy your break!


  9. Hi Morton, yes I've found that while writing for something like NaNo can improve word flow, writing for courses can restrict you, too. I hope you get to finish your partials now, I want to buy a Morton book!


  10. That's brilliant news Morton – well done you. A good walk does it for me – or a piece of music – depends on my mood really. It just happens…. or not!


  11. opps just realised may have lost last post…

    What I said was:

    Never delete a thing, Morton. You never know, it might become useful for background or something on a 'character'.

    Also, I know how you feel. I'd been feeling the same with my non-fiction side of the WB course and am so glad that I've switched over to fiction.

    I know that I am more likely to make money faster writing articles etc. but I was really struggling, and my brain is just thinking fiction right now.


  12. Cherie – The flood gates have well and truly opened. Stories and poems flowing.

    Flowerpot – I haven’t read any of your walking articles yet. Two men do them for Worcestershire Life.

    Teresa – I’m glad it’s not me – I am forever losing posts I think I have made. I may use the material in other ways, but what I meant was, do I really want my son reading the ins and out of his parents’ breakup? Your posts have sounded happier since you changed to fiction, so I guess it was having the same stifling effect on you. I think we need to enjoy our writing as the money side seems a bit hit and miss.


  13. You're right, my posts have been more positive. Part of me isn't bothered that I'm not making any money, I should just write and be happy with that. My only problem is that I want to give up my job at Tescos as it really does get me down, and my only solution (or it feels like it) is to try and make money writing.

    If I didn't need the money, it certainly would take the pressure off. I feel the job stifles my writing. I have to work this weekend, and I know I will get no writing done, I'll just be too tired. Boo 😦


  14. I know. If it was a job that I just turned up did it then went home again, which it sort of is… but when we're there, there is just so much pressure it's ridiculous.

    I'd rather be at home listening to my kids argue I think. 😦

    And this weekend will be a 'write' off… bed early, because early rise. Then too shattered to do anything. I'll read this weekend – me thinks.


  15. Teresa – The job thing is a difficult one – finding something that fits with children and writing is gold dust. I'd forgotten how school holidays impacted my writing! Have resolved to write whilst he is watching his hour's tv a day. Mx


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