Thursday, September 27, 2012

Regaining Equilibrium

The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium.  ~Norbet Platt

This semester, I am teaching a course called "Nonfiction Prose and Its Process."

Every week, I gather with nine students to discuss a certain author's writing process and works.  So far, I've introduced them to Donald Miller, Frank McCourt, David McCullough, Jon Krakauer, and Dave Eggers.  The students discuss what they like, what "works"and what they admire or find intriguing; we take turns reading passages aloud.  

Teaching Nonfiction Prose and Its Process has been, in a word, idyllic.   

They read.  They discuss.  They connect.  They engage.     

Every week, we meet in the campus coffee shop and they write.  Together, we've decided what the week's focus/motivation/"jumping off point" will be.  We base the focus on the author we're studying -- so sometimes they've written memoir, sometimes spiritual reflection.  They think about when and how they behave as writers.   They think about process. 

They write.   They are honest.  They are vulnerable.  They are intensely personal.  

Their courage challenges and inspires me. 

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.  ~Sylvia Plath

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