Sunday, April 15, 2012

Oh My Gosh How Time Flies...and Something to Share

I cannot believe it has been nearly an entire year since I last blogged. My apologies.

Though, I'm not sure anyone was sitting at the edge of the computer chair clicking refresh on this page until new content popped up. Still, it is bad form for a writer to not share writing.

Currently I am working on my dissertation, and as I do, I will share little tidbits of wisdom I find in my readings. I share quotes on Twitter, but here I will share the nuggets of gold that are larger than 140 carats - I mean characters.

For starters, I love how this student questions what creative writing actually is, especially in comparison to composition.

"I'm really confused here. What's the difference between the two? Most of the time I use the two words interchangeably....For all I know, it is a grave sin to use one for the other. Is creative writing stuff that is done for fun, and composition stuff that the teacher makes you do?"

Part of me loves that this student thinks "creative writing" is the fun stuff. On the other hand, both composition and creative writing should be challenging, rewarding, and fun.

Here's one more from the same essay:

"I think I was misleading myself for a very long time. I had so many grand ideas about writing that I had forgotten that you have to write to be a writer...[Now,] instead of pondering over ideas and waiting for the perfect one, the one to make me famous, I take small ideas and make them good ones. I just recently finished a short story that I am very proud of. It was 8 pages long, the longest one I had ever written. It had scenes, summaries, dialogue. I love it. I didn't really ever think I had it in me. I was putting so much pressure on myself to write the masterpiece that all of my writing was overdramatic, didn't say anything and was shallow. I have learned to write in stride, write for myself & let my ideas flow."

This student who is just discovering his writing abilities and who is proud of writing eight pages is wise, wise, wise. I particularly love the advice about not sitting around waiting for brilliant ideas to strike. Why not turn small ideas into good ones, big ones, powerful ones?

Great advice from students of the late Wendy Bishop in her essay "Crossing the Lines: On Creative Composition and Composing Creative Writing"