I've been teaching a novel writing workshop for adults locally in my own town. If you told me ten years ago I'd be doing this, I'd have told you you were crazy.
But I am. And I love it.
We write, we talk craft, we drink fancy water, we share aloud.
It's intimidating, and hard work -- for them and for me. But more than anything, it is fulfilling. I never realized how much I would love it. How unbelievably rewarding it would be.
My students can write. Sometimes the work they share aloud takes my breath away.
But of course, writing a novel, or even a great short story, takes more than just being able to write well, or write pretty, or even beautifully, more than being able to make people cry, or wince, or laugh out loud.
It takes story. It takes tension. It takes conflict. It takes the dreaded plot. And it takes hundreds of hours of butt-int-the-chair.
It takes writing through muddy middles, and quieting the constant "You suck!" voice that seems to lurk in all our heads.***
It takes struggling, and more struggling, then forcing yourself to write right through the struggle.
And, here's the thing I realized the other night talking to my writing students: the struggle isn't stopping you from the writing. The struggle IS the writing. It is an integral part of it.
The struggle IS the writing.
|This week's fancy water was blackberry, lavender, peach.|
Say hi to it.
Get comfortable with it.
Pour it a cup of fancy water.
And then, settle in and push forward.
I'm here rooting for you. And you can always check in here at #Teacherswrite for a pep talk.
So with that said, it's somehow -- unfathomably -- our last week of #TeachersWrite Summer 2017. It flies by too fast every summer, but this one seems to have flown exponentially faster.
Today it's just you and me, but please take a moment to thank all my other guest hosts who spent hours chiming in here, Nora Raleigh Baskin, Josh Funk, Vicki Lame, Amy Dominy (& Nate Evans), and remember to order their titles for your classrooms and share your reviews online if you've read them and loved them.
Speaking of which, THE MEMORY OF THINGS paperback comes out a few short weeks from today. We're very excited about it, and hope that in paperback, Kyle, the bird girl, Uncle Matt, and Marcus find their way into even more libraries, classrooms, and hearts. And preorders are really a great thing.
|My editor holding up the first, lone paperback to arrive at|
St. Martin's Press/Wednesday Books. :)
So, if you haven't ordered it yet, please do! Can't beat a paperback. And please share #booklove and reviews.
This week, no excerpt from me (don't ask), it's just about you. Let's finish up strong. You know THE RULES!! I look forward to reading your struggled for words.
*** Don't believe me? Google "Imposter syndrome" and "novel writing" and you'll see how pervasive it is.