On writing . . . and other rip-offs

I once took a creative writing class. It was offered once a week through the local university’s adult education class. (I am, technically, on paper, an adult.) I was surprised to discover that the instructor had never actually published anything; he’d written for the local papers and for the university, but beyond that, nada. No novels, no short stories, not even an e-book. I’m not saying he wasn’t a decent instructor and that I didn’t enjoy the class, it’s just that, well, I could’ve picked up the same knowledge by going to Barnes and Noble. I did learn one thing, though.

Anyone can teach a creative writing class.

Seriously, it doesn’t seem that hard, once you get past the holy-cow-I-am-speaking-in-front-of-other-people thing. That is my main blockade to teaching my own class. That, and I don’t have the charm necessary to convince whoever you need to convince to give me my own class. I have to do what everyone else in the 21st century does: take it to the Internet. The mean streets of the online blog.

So here we go. I am going to offer my knowledge, everything I’ve learned from reading books (On Writing, Novelist’s Boot Camp, On Writing Horror, et cetera) and articles (primarily Writer’s Digest), and my own ideas about writing creatively. Like my instructor, I have no writing credits under my belt. I do have a novel written, and it’s been submitted to an agent (she asked for it, I didn’t force it on her). I have entered a few writing contests, but I’ve never won anything except the free critiques that were my main reasons for entering in the first place. I’m doing this for my own selfish reasons: I like to read my own stuff, and I’m hoping that writing down the nuts and bolts will help my own work, open up some aha! moments.

Mostly, though, I just like the way my words look on the page.


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