Wednesday, February 16, 2011

writing: my personal burden

My first writing class is over. And I'm slowly coming to the realization that it may indeed be The perfect class for me. I signed up for a 10-week course with the Great Smokies Writing Program called "Stretching the Truth: Creating Fiction From Life." Not only does the class meet mere blocks from my apartment (perk!), but more importantly, I think it's going to really draw me out of my shell.

I hate putting myself out there. If something smacks of personal advertisement, I'm sprinting down the road in the opposite direction. When it comes to writing, I have an extremely difficult time NOT comparing myself to everyone else in the class (college, anyone?) and then finding my work lacking. To me, everyone's work always seems more polished and creative. So I'd rather just not show anyone my work, unless I've spent hours and hours on it first. It doesn't help that I'm a perfectionist (how did you guess?). Today, the teacher gave us a prompt, inviting everyone to write about their earliest memory. After ten minutes, we were told to fictionalize the truth, either re-telling the story from another character's perspective, creating new characters, changing the setting, you get the picture. I would've given my kingdom for a laptop. I hate seeing dark slashes of ink covering my writing...but they're inevitable. I like to perfect, to change. So when the teacher says, "Ready, set, WRITE!" I'm worried that what I produce won't be perfect enough.

I'm hoping this class will teach me to a) abandon my inhibitions, b) stop putting myself down, and c) lie. Yep, you heard me right. I am a very honest person, always have been. I enjoy creating fiction, but the honest Joe inside of me is always pointing a finger and keeping me from creating, well...made-up stuff. So this class should be perfect. I'll be using facts to twist, turn, lay this way and that...and create fiction. If you're lucky, I may even post some of my work here before it's gone through hours and hours of study, editing, reflection, editing, self-criticism, and more editing. Wish me luck.


  1. I'd like to see some of your writing before the extra hours of work that go into it :) Post some soon!

  2. I'll have to see if my perfectionist self can bear to put up work that hasn't bee tweaked endlessly! lol