I saw this written about in a magazine a few days ago and went to pick up a pack from Waterstone’s on Dawson Street, here in Dublin. I was lucky. There was just the one left. Basically, the Creative Writing Kit, 2009 above, is made up of a stylish boxed-up kit on teaching oneself to write, with lectures conducted by Chris Sykes from the University of Sussex.  The kit,  one of a  series of the wider range of Teach Yourself courses modulated in England; costs almost 60 quid generally, but I paid for it, at half the price in of course, the euro currency. This, because of a limited time offer. The materials – comprising 10 detailed cds and 10 long workbooks (both of which have to be pursued simultanously) and this, excluding a thick writer’s companion 0f present market requirements, publishers’ addresses, digital urls and other important things, have all been excellently produced.  Colours which make up  the series design are set in no-fuss white, black and  sunny yellow tones.  I personally, have my doubts on writing courses – I don’t believe that a writing ability can be taught. I believe that any talented raconteur would be able to tell a good story although polished techniques would require months or years of in-depth study and that a mastery of the basic grammar tools for the language that one writes in, is compulsory.  In this sense,  I’m ever so grateful to Sykes for his brilliant ingenuity.
For me, the kit was precious as it offered a glorious kickstart for a renewed writing spirit. It’s sometimes easy to feel pessimistic and browbeaten from all the grovelling news around and I wanted to keep that writer’s sense of keeness in me, still exuberant and very much alive. So I resorted to something girlish and  gleeful.
The workbooks are definitely far from  amateur. They’re challenging and offer demanding thought-provoking exercises, through the many questions, suggestions, pictures and photographs posed about the  possible subjects and genres one could pursue. Exercises question all of an  individual’s inner senses amid both a conscious and subconscious sphere. Among many things, it also talks about stage plays, a helpful encounter to me at the present.  A writer on reading this, would be forced to search the self, so to speak. And more importantly, Sykes starts the ball rolling by talking about the necessities and joys of reading.