Write On

So far my writing class has been a wonderful experience.  My instructor is supportive, encouraging and down to earth.  His humour and personable style makes us feel  comfortable in sharing our writing.  Each week, he unveils another element for us to learn.  After 3 classes (there are only 5 in this introductory level), I feel like a novice climber looking up at an endless and towering mountain range.  I looked back at my conquests and they are only ant hills.  My universe of books and authors have grown every week.  Yesterday, we read a short story from Tobias Wolff that floored me once I appreciated the balance of narration, dialogue and description.

My classmates write like crazy during class when given a prompt.  I’m the only one that looks around searching for some inspiration.  A lady read her poem that was haunting and touching.  She wrote in 7 minutes after she got home.  It takes me longer to take a dump.  Ok – that’s not really accurate.  If I don’t have anything to read, I can do it a lot shorter.  A woman wrote about life and death in Iran during the revolution.  I wrote about fried rice and my pet dog.  A woman told us she read Anna Karenina 5 times and remembered how old she was each time she read it.  I’ve already forgotten what I read in this morning’s paper (except for the comics).

When I received last week’s assignment, my teacher highlighted some sentences that could be edited and crisper.  As an example, “It was something I couldn’t do while they were alive.” became “I couldn’t do this while they were alive.”  There were missing words that weren’t apparent to me even countless reading and rewrites.  I need to be more careful.

Despite my nagging insecurities, I am enjoying the whole experience and I’m learning about the craft of writing.  It’s also very humbling.




33 thoughts on “Write On

  1. I love hearing about your writing class, and your writing, Matt! Hang in there, you are going to learn a lot!
    A friend (who is a great writer) told me: “Reread and reread and reread what you wrote and eliminate any words that aren’t necessary…pare it down to only what needs to be there.”
    A “less is more” kind of thing. That has helped me. As my writing tends to be verbose.
    As do my comments.
    So, I’ll hush now.
    Write-On HUGS!!! 🙂

  2. Awesome! So glad you’re enjoying your class; writing is like everything else- with practice, it gets a little easier. Not to say it becomes easy, but when you practice writing daily and diligently write, the words do flow a little easier than if you only write once a month. Press on. 🙂

      • That’s really good to hear. Maybe do more courses after this one or make some friends and do writing sessions. Things are good. Finals are next week. Also next week marks 6 months since I came to Taiwan. Time flies. When I remember why I’m here, it motivates me to study, so that’s what I’ve been doing lately.

      • Our class finishes at 9 and most of the people want to get home to their families. A couple of students have dropped out. Maybe there are a couple that won’t mind keeping in touch, I really do want to hang out with others just to talk about writing.

  3. Thanks for sharing that example. It’s interesting cause when I read your sentence I thought there was nothing wrong with it but the second version IS crisper! Sounds like you’ll get a lot out of this class.

  4. Sounds like a fun class. I remember back in high school exploring a bit into creative writing. Wouldn’t mind taking a class again in my spare time.

  5. It sounds like an amazing class. I really envy people who can write. For me, writing down my own thoughts properly is a mess even in my native language. When I was in high school, we had to take a lot of mock tests before the finals came. I did quite well in my tests but had a really hard time writing the essays since then. In one test, I submitted a blank page except for the title. My teacher was so shocked when he saw that and he strictly told me not to do that in the finals. Good thing I listened. I would have failed my finals otherwise. 😀

    PS. It took me about 15 minutes to write this comment after composing, deleting and re-composing the sentences multiple times.

  6. it must be very humbling. any class can easily do so to our sense of confidence. that’s what it supposed to do, i guess. to help you push yourself to go across the line where you have always seemed to feel comfortable staying just behind it. ps: i can’t understand how people need to read while they take a dump. i would need all of my concentration in order to make it happen, so i could get out of there fast.

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