Learn to be a WriterBecoming a writer
Becoming a writer
One part of my role as a Master of Fine Arts programme manager is to respond to student queries - present, future and former - all authors, but many inconvenient ones named by this name. After all, the writer is like a professional name, such as doctor or tinsmith. This is a mastery of the arts that few of us sense because the letter making is anything but straightforward, pure or forseeable.
It', I suggest, if she is forced to write the next two or three years (1) more than she has ever done before; (2) to read widely and profoundly; (3) to hear clever individuals - who do not pretend to plop someone's egos - describe how their own writings disappoint them and/or please them; and (4) to offer others like themselves a mutual comment.
The most important thing is that MFA alumni learn to see themselves as authors. Probably this is their first day in a group. You will attend classes held by authors and stuffed with them. Typically, their teachers don't tell them what to put or how to put it, but ask them to find their own topics and create their own methods to deal with them - a tough task.
Creativity is an accepted teaching method and has its own educational system. For example, literature students learn how to construct scenarios, manipulate points of views, design plot and create multi-dimensional figures. The reader should describe the learning curve of a play rather than stick to what they think should have beenritten.
Pupil-artists have to deal with their poor typing practices, blurred patches and mistakes, and there is no pain-free way to do so. You can' t teach it in a lecture or even in one-on-one conversations with a bright reviewer. However, no mater which of these skills are present in a writer's work, it is not possible to say for sure whether this individual "has what it takes", because he - the combined talents, perseverance and happiness that allow a writer to mine the precious metal he has - can stay concealed for long periods after all.
He told a story full of walking sticks that moved through texturless environments and interacted in a foreseeable way. Though our classes were full of reviewers who were sincere to a mistake, they sometimes seemed awkward to mention the mistakes in this author's work. Many years later I got a professional journal and was amazed to see his name.
He had just released a novel and had also won a renowned literature award. I soon found out that the award was no coincidence - his work was a masterly, sincere work of philatious. I am still embarrassed at the way I assessed this writer's talent, and since then I have been wary of making the same mistakes.
To learn to spell well and to help others to spell well demands that we accept a complicated and often confusing business. I am persuaded that our failings - our wrong beginnings with infertile themes, our shaky, illegible designs - are prolific, necessary steps in a shambolic journey we should better learn to learn to cope with.