Writing Forward is one of my go-to blogs for tips on creative writing. It's a well of information, so please check it out. Today, I popped over to read Five Things I Learned in Creative Writing Class. You know you're inspired by a post when you leave such a long comment you might as well have written your own post.
Which brings me back here. My gut reaction after reading the post was to scour the Internet in search of a creative writing class. I've been feeling a bit uninspired lately. What better way to spark inspiration than a class, right?
Then I remembered why I've hesitated to take a creative writing class or pursue an MFA in Creative Writing. Subjectivity.
I've taken a few writing classes and many English courses in college. For the most part, teachers were impressed and encouraging. It's a big boost to your self-confidence to have a teacher who believes in you, nurtures your work. I've also had experience with critical teachers, but even then most of them thought I had potential and pushed me.
Mom in Love with Fiction. I completely understand, and often note, that a lot of things play into how I rate a book. It could be my mood, my taste, or even the week I'm having. Reviews are opinions, and I don't pretend to have some exclusive formula for never being wrong.
My mother decided to pursue a college degree when my baby sister started school. Thanks to multiple moves and constantly losing credits, she ended up graduating a semester after I did. Toward the end, she had a teacher who hated her writing. No bones about it, he just didn't like her style. She was discouraged and asked for my help.
Mom and I have very different writing styles. It's one of the reasons we wrote a book together... we knew our voices were distinct. Mom asked me to write her next assignment. We both read the book and discussed themes, but I was going to write it. My style. I wrote the paper, Mom got an A.
As an aside, can I just tell you how rewarding it was to write a paper for my mom and get her an A? It was payback for all the times she helped me with science projects.
We are all going to come across someone who doesn't like our work. I'm okay with that. Actually, I believe you learn more from negative reviews than positive ones. I want to grow as a writer, so I want honesty.
But I don't want to take a class and have someone just hate my work. I'd like to think I could figure out the teacher's wants and comply, but is that helping me as a writer or preparing me for a career in psychology?
I do believe the advantages to taking a writing class outweigh the potential disadvantage of a teacher blinded by his/her own opinion. But it does make me hesitate.
Have you come across a teacher/mentor who didn't like your work? Did it discourage you from your desired goal?