To write the unwritten – it’s a challenge I’ve been given in on my of classes. Most of my creative writing up until this point has been generally derivative of something else I started but never finished. It actually hit me as I was riding home on the light rail that the requirement that whatever we produce within class must be original and fresh – it was a bucket of ice water to the head. I’ve been rewriting, redoing, reinventing the same grouping of stories for the better part of five years or so – and I’ve never really struck out on my own.
The class I’m taking is Art and Craft of writing which means I’m going to have take every single piece of metaphorical Block of Cheese I own and the entire farm of Sacred Cows – and burn them all. Aside from an overwhelming amount of tasty cheeseburgers that could probably feed a small nation for several years this will also take me back to square one with my writing.
I had a feeling my ethos was going to be directly challenged when I read through the syllabus for this class. Incidentally my ‘Intro To Theater’ will also feature some writing, albeit this framed in the dramatic format. In effect I’ll be tearing down the walls, the foundation and the ground itself to build up a better writer better versed in how to craft the craft.
As an amateur writer it is equal parts exhilarating and terrifying. There is great risk in shifting from a gear you’ve known for 32 years into a brand new speed. You have to be careful not to burn out the clutch or blow the entire motor to kingdom come.
Learning is part of growing. Growing is a necessary thing for anyone who wants to be any good at what they do and it is especially true within the field of the arts. So here I stand on the edge of tomorrow with pitchfork and flaming torch in hand, ready to storm the castle.
It might sink into the swamp, but we’ll build another one. And that one might sink too. But eventually we’ll get it right. Who knows – there might even be singing.