On Teaching Writing

9 May, 2021 § Leave a comment

It never ceases to amaze me … the diverse backgrounds and deep desire people have for learning to write.

I’ve met a wonderful people in my writing workshops over the years.

Here’s a sampling of some of their stories:

  • One has written a family history and has an idea for a story on a relative who was a convict.
  • Another would love to write children’s books with her daughter.
  • Alice is well into her 80’s and is being encouraged by her grandchildren to write down all the fantasy stories she has related to them.
  • Jack has been working on a rollicking good Aussie young adult adventure story.
  • Johann wrote an epic historical family memoir and needs to shape it up for publication.

Each of these is an ordinary person. They work, they have families, pastimes, and pressures. And they have either a burning desire or a persistent itch that drives them to write. Just as all successful and famous writers were and are ordinary.

Well, not all. I met Bryce Courteney many years ago before he became an author. At the time he was a copywriter and in his own fledgling business after being a big success in Advertising in a major firm. He went on to write commercial fiction, publishing annually just in time for Christmas sales. He learned a lot from his advertising career and made sure he wrote to meet the market. He was a unique individual, but he was a regular person.

There lies the magic!

To be a writer is within the reach of anyone.

Let me repeat that: to be a writer is within the reach of anyone. Including you!

All it needs is to find a story to tell. And the commitment to telling it.

Your past, your present, and your future each have nubs of ideas that can turn into a story.

Idea sparks surround you – in the news, advertisements, things that capture your attention, something you heard said, watching people at a cafe. The genesis of a story can be anywhere. It’s a matter of catching that seed, germinating and nurturing it, and watching it grow.

If it fails to thrive, put it aside and plant another story seed.

If you are a writer, you do more than say “one day”. You pick and prod at writing as time permits. You make time to write. You read and learn. You put ink to paper (even if indirectly through a keyboard). And you never let go of the dream of creating a work that gives you satisfaction and possibly appreciation from others.

In the words of Winston Churchill, “Never give up”.

Get Writing. Only You Can Write Your Words.

Writing Courses Are Okay

27 March, 2012 § Leave a comment

I teach a writing course.

Some may wonder why, given I have never legitimately published or authored a book.

That seems to be people’s expectation of a teacher of writing.

Yet I have a talent for writing, always have had, and enjoy the process of writing including the frustrations and disappointments.

I do actually plan to write a book. It will be non-fiction. And I find from my research that the process of writing is similar irrespective of what kind of writing one does.

And, unlike the writer from the Guardian who stated:

”Avoid cliques, gangs, groups. The presence of a crowd won’t make your writing any better than it is.”

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/a-novel-idea-turns-creative-writing-into-an-academic-racket-20100226-p914.html

teach writing, writing courseI find that it’s not so much the need for ‘having a crowd’ that people come to a writing course. It’s for the discipline. To actually put pen to paper. To commit scheduled time to a pursuit which brings them joy and expresses their spirit. For those for whom writing is a passion, the pleasure of writing includes being lost ‘in the zone’. For some reason people can’t find time to write. But when they are in a course, when given a prompt, they can write in a flowing state and the energy from putting ideas on a page is palpable.

Others come because they want to honour a memory, remedy the poor writing they see in a genre, simpy to see if they can do it. And there’s nothing wrong with any reason for writing.

The proof is in the value gained by others from reading.

And if no-one ever reads it, does it matter?

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with teaching writing at melanie wass.