An Open Letter To That Ex-MFA Creative Writing Teacher Dude « terribleminds: chuck wendig

Posted: April 30, 2015 in graffiti living, links
Tags: ,

Chuck Wendig tears Ryan Boudinot a new one.

(Alternate title: Things I Can Say About That Article Written By That Creative Writing Ex-MFA Teacher Guy Now That I’ve Read It And Gotten So Angry It’s Like My Urethra Is Filled With Bees.)

He also offers his usual writing advice and wisdom.

Writing is a solitary act, and a lot of the early writing you will do will be fit only for the manure pile. This is true of most writers, I think, where we iterate early (and ideally, iterate often) in order to figure out what the fidgety fuck we’re doing. We trunk novels not because we strive for perfection but because we have to learn. Of course the first stories we produce aren’t going to be sublime shelf-burners and bestsellers, just as a toddler’s first steps are clumsy drunken ones, not an elegant Olympian sprint.

But I disagree that nobody should see it. That’s ultimately what he’s saying — write in the dark, some fungal producer of literary mushroom caps. Tell no one. Iterate in shadow and shame. Which is not functional — we write to be read, and writing demands readers. We let our friends read our early work. Our parents. Other writers. We let editors take a crack when we’re at a certain level. Agents if we get that far. Working in isolation and sharing nothing often nets you nothing — we are the worst judges of our own work. Creative agitation is an essential, and that agitation comes from readers. Readers with comments. Critiques. Complaints. And, of course, compliments.

Here’s the thing. I joke that the article makes me pee bees and roll my eyes so hard that I’ll break my own neck, and it does that, a little bit. Mostly, though, it just makes me sad to think that there might be writers out there who believe these things. Particularly who believe them because a teacher has told them this. (Teachers, like parents, are supposed to be good for us. They’re supposed to help us. Ironic how often the reverse ends up true, then.)

via An Open Letter To That Ex-MFA Creative Writing Teacher Dude « terribleminds: chuck wendig.

It’s almost worth wading through Ryan Boudinot’s rant just to read Chuck’s reply.

Advertisements
Comments
  1. RAFrenzy says:

    God Bless Chuck. Now this is someone who can write and teach. I already learned something. It was definitely worth reading the ex-MFA dude’s rant to get to this.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s