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.