Friday, June 27, 2008

Thanks and Whew

Last night was the last night of the Creative Writing Class. As always, fewer people finished than had started. This is not a nanny nanny boo boo on them. This is a thank you to all the folks who helped get me through this class and a whew because I made it. I have often landed somewhere along the wayside in one thing or another. Sometimes for good reasons; sometimes just because I lost my nerve. As I get older I find celebrating successes and paying attention to my own business much more important than fretting about others.

I was the only woman of the 5 who started who finished the scuba diving class. In addition to the sense of satisfaction it meant that a whole world was open to me. I am sorry they missed the opportunity to swim with an Eagle ray or chase a turtle over a reef full of anemones and soft corals. They may have picked it up again sometime. We never know with the little slices of people's lives that we see. And so with this class, the ones who dropped by the side may have gotten what they needed out of it. They may have gone as far as their nerves could take them this time, but the next time they will get a bit further down the road.

When I was teaching freshman composition--a rite of passage for students and teachers alike, I had a student who was enroling for the 13th time. I had the hubris to think that I would be the one to pull him through. I cried when I signed his form to drop out of the class. I had both my own sense of failure as well as his to contend with. I like to think that he came back and finished in style--perhaps even helping a fledgling teacher through the early parts of the class that he will know nearly by heart by then.

It felt a bit odd to be on the other side of a writing classroom. Because I am on the other side of the world, it was another facet of my looking glass life. After a little vertigo, I settled in and set myself two goals: decide whether my blog posts can be made into something more and what it will take to do that and finish a short story. I met my goals. Along the way I learned a bit more about the craft of writing, a bit more about myself as a writer (and finisher), and made some new friends--also writers or writer wannabes. So this is my little celebration.


At 5:43 AM, Blogger TerriRainer said...


I will say from past experience that if the teacher was worth their weight, you will have "aha" moments for weeks and even months to come...I did after my writing class.

Of course that could also mean that I am one of those REALLY slow learners!

Either way, good for you!

:) Terri

At 9:23 AM, Blogger landgirl said...

Thanks. The teacher did a great job with a too-large, multi layered class. Yup I have things to work on for a long time, but then writing is like that, isn't it?
Any word from your agent? My daughter had an agent express an interest in one of her projects but it did not come to fruition.

At 11:05 PM, Blogger The Curmudgeon said...

Yes, belated congratulations on finishing.

I can't imagine taking a class in a subject that I'd once taught.

In fact, I can't imagine taking a class about writing at all. It seems to me it would be like taking a class in riding the train or reading the newspaper. These are all just things we do.

Maybe I'm still a little raw from recently completing my continuing legal education requirements. This was the first year these were foisted on Illinois lawyers... and, of course, one thing led to another and I had to squeeze all the hours in at the deadline.

All so rich lawyers can deduct a portion of their vacations: The day I finished my obligations and made the necessary certifications, there was a solicitation in my email to take CLE in London.

No, it's not learning I resent... my problem, apparently, is structure.

At 8:06 AM, Blogger landgirl said...

Oh, Cur, I am sorry about the CLE stuff. Almost always taking a class because some functionary says you have to is just like putting your foot into cold water. It must be especially galling when as a self employed person you see these exotic sites for training and you know that many folks never even go to the training but fiddle their taxes and their CLE. I remember the training I went to at big pharma in my previous life and also the certification I was working on as I was transitioning to being a medical writer.

The trick with this class for me was to find that magical mystical ground where I satisfied the rules and found my own goal. Rare. So another stroke of good luck.
Does anyone ever look at your CLE paperwork? I doubt if anyone will ever see or care about my certificate except perhaps in creating a writer's CV--another paper-based simulacrum to send out as an envoi to the strange shores of publishers. We'll see.

Re writing--I think you can learn about it--the methods, the kinds of writing, the rationale,the discipline and you can get better at it with practice, but the drive to be a writer and the imagination that we bring to it can't be taught. Or so I think.


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