Thursday, September 3, 2009

September Fever: Classes and Excuses

We're working our way through a series of classes in my writer's group generously given by a member who is a workshop veteran and an excellent writer. These classes are interesting and very likely giving me good information (and introducing me to otherwise unknown short stories and ideas); however, I find that they are somewhat inimical to my own writing. I'm afraid of my own foolishness...which is something that won't go away by ignoring it.

Writing is a combination of falling in love with an idea or story, breaking it out of its imagined perfection, assembling the pieces while still holding tight to your desire for the original, and then reworking it into something useful (understandable, enjoyable, publishable). In this respect, you're constantly moving on a continuum of emotional attachment and critical detachment that is sometimes disorienting. The important part of this, however, is that you can only continue to move along this continuum if your writing practice is continual and you have a strong commitment to your own voice. Otherwise, the effort will break your own commitment to the task(think midnight donut binge, only in this case it's a midnight bonfire of drafts).

I'm comfortable with lessons and theories--they can be fun to dissect and argue over. It's fall and I'm happy to curl up and discuss them amongst ourselves. But...the more classes, the more areas to think about, the easier it is to not write. This is probably my lesson. Write. Keep writing. Uncork the ferment of the effort and let it carry you onward.


  1. And the best way to improve in the craft is to keep writing and writing and writing. I think you said you were NOT doing NaNoWriMo this year, but maybe it would be good to get you going again? That, combined with all the new information imparted through the HFC classes, might make for a powerful combination. Just thinking...

  2. As it turns out, I will be doing NaNo this year as a partner-in-typing for the other writer in the house. ;)