Ghosts of Writing Classes Past

A thing you may not know about me: I have a communications degree and spent a year studying for an MFA in creative writing.

You can’t tell by the way I write here. At least, I can’t. I’m ten years removed from journalism courses, six removed from creative writing craft classes, but the lessons haunt me. They sit in the back of my mind, taunting everything I post here.

“What is the point of this piece? Where’s the through line? The theme?”

“Hiding lazy writing behind your alleged writing voice again? How cute.”

“To be such a Joan Didion disciple, I can’t tell by the quality of your craft here.”

Craft. The sand on the beach of my writing; oft-eroded by waves of urgent catharsis.

I do not miss trying to develop article ledes, explaining creative choices in workshops, or trudging through tedious assigned “classics.” But there are moments mid blog-post when I think “This is garbage. Either hurry up and finish or chalk this up. My eyes will roll out of my head if I have to contemplate this microwaved junk you call ‘writing’ for another ten minutes.”

I could stand to slow down and reacquaint myself with meaningful reading and writing practice.

Some structure, if you will.*

Not because I want to write another book or pitch to literary magazines or participate in the publishing industry at all–the idea nauseates me. But because writing is what I do. If this blog is the vehicle for that, it will reflect everything I’m capable of; from photos to snappy quip-filled rants to formal writerly writer shit.

What’s the point of all this free single, childless adult time if not to commit to and nurture one’s talents?

Loosely based on the routine described on The 1,000 Day MFA, I will incorporate the following reading/writing schedule:

  • Monday: Short Stories
  • Wednesday: Essays
  • Friday: Poetry
  • Saturday: Writing Craft Books + Exercises

I’ll likely post (weekly?) summaries of what I read and use practice exercises to beef up the “writerly” portion of the blog; diversify the content around here so it’s more than Single Girl Chronicles and Why I Hate the Internet This Week.

I started yesterday with Toni Morrison’s “No Place for Self-Pity, No Room for Fear.” Read through the piece once for comprehension, a second time for artistic consideration, and a third for standout language and lines. It took all of 30 minutes. It felt…right.

Good to know writer’s bones still live beneath this blogger’s skin.

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[*] Astrology Note: With Uranus in Taurus and Saturn in Capricorn trining my natal Venus, committing to a new a writing process is right on time.

Featured Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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