Teaching Writing: The Best Part

Today was my last class with a group of women at Story Circle Network who were learning about “Crafting Flash” writing, which is fiction and non-fiction pieces that are 1200 words or fewer. I had nine women in my class over the past five weeks and we’ve covered all the basics of flash plus I added in-class critique this time, which was new. It was a wonderful group – eager to learn, open to suggestions in critique, and generous in their comments with their critique partner each week. They were also very open in their writing, sharing their vulnerabilities and challenges both in life and as writers.

Sharing this close connection with my students is the primary reason I love teaching writing. I get the chance to watch as my students grow more confident week by week and open up more and more. It validates my belief that we are all driven by the same desires and needs and that if we scratch just below the surface, we are bonded deeply as human beings. I feel heartened daily in my work, which keeps me happy and optimistic about our future. That is a big occupational bonus.

This evening, I am feeling exceptionally grateful.

Here is a quote from Lydia Davies, who is a critically acclaimed flash fiction writer. I believe her advice is true for any kind of writing, and perhaps any task in life if you rewrite that sentence to read: “When in trouble, look closely at whatever is a good example of what you’re trying to do.”

And patience. Ah, yes. That is the key. And perhaps a bit of mercy granted to yourself as you work hard and meticulously.

Have a good evening, my friends. See you tomorrow.

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