Tuesday, 28 April 2009

The passion of writing and teaching

Paperface commented on the last blog: about wanting to write... and wanting to teach writing? I must hasten to say it's not a job -- it's a life.

I think that writing and teaching each have at their hearts a generosity. Or maybe it's a compulsion to share. Paradoxically, it is selfish at the same time. Or I find it so. Because both are creative and need interiority and time, time away from people, in order to find the stuff... the what-you-want-to-say. I need journal-writing time, thinking time, researching time if it's that kind of thing, reading time, organising time, admin time, actual originating time, editing or going-out-to-teach time.

You're right, it sounds like a full time job. Good thing my husband is a creative person too -- we hole up in our corners and get on with our projects. However, none of the above pays much at all; hardly at all what a 'real job' pays. You've just got to love it, the life and the creative satisfaction.

Of course I left out another big important element: procrastination time! That's where teaching is so useful -- a class awaits, so that's a real deadline. And there's the lovely person-to-person engagement of direct communication -- an antidote to the shut-away time.

To all who wish they were novelists -- half your battle is done. The main secret is to WANT to write. The next is to actually write. That's what the teaching is about... leading the want into the do.

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