Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Just a quick note before I dash into my Nano novel.

Recently I've been reading over my old stories and novels, penned before I went to get one of those infamous MFA degrees (mine was at Bennington College). I have to say that there is some pretty wild, wonderful stuff in my old work. Now don't get me wrong--I'm not getting a big ego here, very few of these pieces are publishable, and it all is written in my vastly different voices of the years and piecemeal and theme heavy, etc. BUT there is a tremendous amount of spontaneity and trust and a definite sense of order and structure making itself known in the old work too. In other words, before I learned about craft, I already had some wriggling, infant version of it gleaned just from reading. Some of what came through before professors and workshops shamed it out of me was pure, like wild honeycomb--all shot through with dead bees and cloudy and unprocessed, but delicious too.

And this is why I recommend that anyone who writes from some inner compass, from having taken in books and spit out words themselves, should trust that process for a very long time, maybe always. And if you should go to school, or read books on writing, you should know that all these "shoulds" and "how-tos" are time-tested guidelines, but not the gospel. There might just be a few exceptions, things that no teacher can pin down about your unique print.

You should trust your own creative impulses.



At 12:05 PM, Blogger Susan Henderson said...

Sometime I'd love for you to introduce this topic over at LitPark.

Glad you're writing your novel today. Me, too, but it's slow going.


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