Angelique Noll completed the Basics of Creative Writing Course as well as the Magazine Journalism Course in 2011 at The Writers’ College.
Here’s what she has been up to since then….
1. What writing successes have you had since completing your course?
Within a year of completing the Journalism course I’ve had three articles accepted, one in Vrouekeur, one in Natural Health Journal and one in an Australian magazine called Merise. I’ve also had three short stories accepted, two by Vrouekeur and one by Merise.
2. How did you feel the first time you wrote a piece that was published?
Ecstatic! Getting that first piece published is an enormous step. It also means I no longer have to discreetly avoid the “publishing history” part of the author bio when I submit future pieces to magazines or book publishers.
3. What tip(s) would you give other aspirant writers in terms of finding ideas, the writing process, and staying motivated?
I don’t know what tips to give about finding ideas because coming up with an idea was never a problem for me. Ideas are all around – it’s simply a matter of becoming actively engaged in the process of nailing one down. Don’t wait for great ideas to come to you – sit down and think of one using old fashioned pen and paper.
The writing process is different for everyone. I read a lot about how other authors go about it, and there is no right way. For me, it’s about handing in good quality work, which means lots of edits, and also some time away from the piece before giving it one last read through and then sending it in.
Motivation is not a problem if you love writing. It can be discouraging receiving one rejection note after the other. I had many rejections before I did the course and I learnt how to fine-tune my work. But I think of every rejection as one step closer to the acceptance letter. Gambler’s logic, I know, but it kept me motivated.
4. How did the writing course improve your writing?
The course taught me mostly about editing my own work, how to read it like an editor, not like a reader. But mostly, both the courses (Creative Writing and Journalism) taught me that I can do better, if I try a little harder. Now, with every revision, I actively look for something to improve, and usually find something, even if it’s just one word. If it makes the piece better, it’s worth the few minutes it took to think of a better way to say the same thing.
5. What was the single most important lesson you walked away with from the course?
Edit, edit and edit again. And then edit once more.