Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Learning to Write

I have been reading The 90-day Novel by Alan Watt and I love it.

I love the whole first 30 days where it's just about holding your idea loosely and letting your subconsious fill in the gaps and make a story around the images. Alan Watt believes that stories are what your mind does and a combination of patience and exploration will help you build one. My own experience with writing like this is that when the images live first, the structure forms around it. I've seen it happen in the writing of my students.

 He has a great list of guidelines for finding a creative writing teacher. From that list, you get a sense of his tone. I highly recommend the book.

 Of course I probably wouldn't post a link if I thought I was failing at these things. But some of them I will need to consider carefully. Considering did make me think about what I do teach. Here's a response:

 I can not teach you how to write. You only learn that through trial and error, through practice, through your own failures and retrying until finally you write better. But I can show you how to get excited about the process and get excited about spending time with your ideas. I can remind you to trust. And teach you that part of being a writer is constantly losing faith. I can teach you how to keep going regardless. I can teach you how to read and respond to other writing, what to notice in the text and in your own gut. And where and when to use that. And where and when I feel it when you write. We can practice together so that when you do something right you will know how to do it again and again. And that is what writing is about, keeping at it again and again and again.

So with all that, I am announcing another series of 3 classes in the studio: Wednesdays March 14, 21, and 28th, 7-9 pm. They are like yoga classes where we write and practice together. Email me if you are interested in joining us: tina dot laurel at gmail dot com. I will send you the announcement via email with all the details.