It all started almost a year ago, this was the time I was in between jobs and had 5 or so weeks off. I did some reading, tons of exercising, and writing here and there. I knew I was preparing myself to become a writer, before I made my declaration at the end of last year. For sure though, I knew I wanted to write fiction. I thought fiction would allow me to dream and become as creative as possible. So I signed up for a 5-week leisure learning fiction writing class.
“I want you guys to remember, that you are writers. Okay. Now repeat after me, I’M A WRITER, I’M A WRITER, I’M A WRITER…”, the writer teacher, who has written one novel said.
I believed everything she said to me: I felt strong, I felt I could write anything (well when I was in that room with 10 or so other people). Everyone came from different backgrounds, but as I looked around the room and noticed the confidence from the other people, who was also saying this bullshit of a mantra – I knew my life was going to be different from this point on!
Ironically speaking, I was listening to Stephen King’s audio book, which he explained the art of writing, during the time of my class. So, it was as if I was getting conflicting information from 2 published authors, one more famous and has written on the subject more than the other. I, being reasonable with myself, listened to both lessons.
In class we learned about plot, scenery, description, characters, time and place, and the templates we could use in order to write the story we wanted to. As the class went on, the other “writers” and myself became more comfortable with the art of writing, and asked questions amongst ourselves to see if we could help each other. But, as I continue attending writing class and listening to Stephen King, I began to choose sides -Mr. Best Seller.
The class was winding down, I felt like a person that could conquer anything. I knew I would be without my cheerleader by my side telling me I can do anything. I knew the short-lived relationships with my classmates encouraging and giving each other confidence would end.When the last day arrive, I was heart broken, but knew it was up to me to become the writer I wanted to become. It was time to do something with what I learned or don’t do anything and feel like shit.
After the class I began, paused, then completed stopped a novel idea I developed in class. I started my new job and finally finished the Stephen King audio book. I didn’t know what to do with myself, I didn’t know if I could actually finish a novel, I thought all of the luster was dying from the class that taught me so much.
Stephen King said a couple of useful junk, that got me more in tune with what was actually being taught in writing classes and ultimately the way I do things now: he made fun of writing classes and writer teachers telling their students the greatest confidence boasting mantra known to aspiring writers: “I’M A WRITER”.
My head began to spin, I laughed at the same time, but knew it was time for me to do some investigating of my own. So, I googled my writer teacher: I found her, I saw that she has written one novel (the same one she was referencing over and over again in class), she has written tons of self-help books, even one about finding the rich man of your dreams and marrying him (she did this very thing with her husband), I read in her blog/website that it was written in her clause or wedding agreement to always be by her husband side, and to wear the same shit attire (from head to toe) every day, but I respected her because she made a name for herself and made money by doing what she loved.
I didn’t know what else to do, so I did what any aspiring writer would do who didn’t actually want to start writing – I ordered and read more books on writing! However, there was this one book, it was suppose to be the greatest thing known to fiction writers. I skimmed it, I flipped through the pages, my eyes became larger, a frown appeared on my face, I got to the plot section and threw the book aside. I never opened the book again, I don’t think I will ever open that book again, it revealed to me that everything my writing teacher was saying to me was in this very book – Everything! She didn’t give credit to this instructional manual, she gave information as if it was hers and only hers.
So, what I have learned from this writing class, Stephen King, and other writers I know, is to simply write…