Why is it that every time that I feel like my writing isn’t going well I think that I am going to somehow magically fix my manuscript by taking yet another writing class? Why do I think that listening to someone go on about writing theory is going to build my fictional world and remold my characters into complex well-rounded characters that seem to breath out of the page? What is it about sitting in a classroom that makes me believe that the answers will miraculously emerge from the mouth of the person standing in the front of the room? What makes me think that creativity can be harnessed through the lectures of others?
Don’t get me wrong there is nothing bad about taking yet another writing class. But I feel that taking writing classes is my latest form of procrastination. And all I have ever gotten from a writing class is well… confusion and self-doubt.
Where does this notion that writing is formulaic and can be taught come from? We have lists upon Pinterest list of writing dos and don’t, rules upon rules written by Elmore Leonard and company; and really, when it comes down to it the only truly practical piece of advice is: sit your butt on a chair and write. Oh, and know your grammar – that is a pretty important one too.
So no, as tempting as avoiding editing by taking yet another expensive writing class sounds, I will not be taking another writing class this summer or fall. I have nothing against writing classes. There are some pretty good ones out there. It is just that right now, they are another way for me to avoid really getting down to the nitty-gritty and just simply getting my second draft completed. The answers to my questions are inside my head: only I can build my world, only I can breathe life into my characters.
The laundry is in the dryer and I have pages to edit.