Writing on Wednesdays: those who can’t, crowd source.

February 1st, 2012

Both my parents and two of my grandparents were teachers, so I don’t know why I was in my thirties before I discovered that teaching is something I really like to do. Back when I was heavily involved with the Episcopal church, I did quite a lot of it–leading Sunday school classes, book studies and workshops on pretty much whatever I happened to be curious or passionate about: creativity, Jungian dream interpretation, the I Ching, gay rights, even a Lenten series on the original studio recording of Jesus Christ Superstar, with a track-by-track theological discussion. I know, the list reads like a triple dog dare: Go ahead, just try to keep me from getting out of bed Sunday mornings. No, really. 

Anyway, it was fun. Then my focus shifted to writing more, and talking less. Now the writing is leading to teaching opportunities, and I feel energized about combining both passions. I’ll be on faculty at the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop in April, helping people find their internal authority to write and publish their stories. I’ll also be a community leader for writing topics at this year’s Blissdom blogging conference in Nashville, in February. There are opportunities for me to offer classes locally, as well.

I’m excited by all the possibilities, but I feel like I’m at a bit of a disadvantage in developing the syllabus, because I’ve never attended a writing workshop or class as a student.  So I thought I’d ask the people who know my writing best–my readers–to develop it for me. If we were to hang out for an afternoon or a few evenings, what could I offer that would be helpful in developing your own creativity? Besides cleaning your house, or watching your kids, I mean. Face it, we’d better play to my strengths.

Be as broad or as specific as you like. The more topics and ideas, the better. And maybe I’ll see you in class soon.

6 Responses to “Writing on Wednesdays: those who can’t, crowd source.”

  1. shawn says:

    one of the many things i love about your writing kyran. no – just thought of 2 – one – pay attention to the details. write about the quiet things in your life that don’t often get the attention they deserve. and 2 – be honest.

  2. Betsy says:

    I think you tell “real” stories. Stories that only you can tell. Figure out how to tease that out of all the rest of us and you will have it made. Also you aren’t afraid of a topic (well maybe you are, but as your readers we don’t know about that), also it feels like when I sit down with your writing that I am sitting down with a good friend. Sorry I can’t tell you how you do that, but you do.

  3. Jana says:

    Whenever I read one of your posts, I feel like I’ve taken a deep breath or a satisfying drink of water. I don’t know what the literary term is for that (maybe voice?), but, to second Betsy, teasing that out of a potential writer/blogger would take a bunch of us to the next level of our hobbies. A second thing I appreciate is your attention to grammar and writing form. Few things aggravate me more than poor grammar or defaulting to a “free-form” blog post (some bloggers do this often) because the author may be lazy.

  4. Mariellen says:

    How to break free of the perennial themes which are ours, and make them more universal. The distinction between one’s voice and one’s pet peeve/s..and how to avoid one falling into another, unrecognised.

    (Does that make sense??)

  5. Jennifer Kent-Charpentier says:

    I would want to hear about your process, do you just sit down and write? How much research is involved and what does that entail. Where do your ideas for stories come from?

  6. Susanna says:

    I am one of the lucky ones who will hear you at the Erma Bombeck workshop and I am excited about the whole event. I’d like to hear about the mechanics of your blogging (your schedule, your editing process, etc.). I’d also really like to hear about marketing your stuff. Seems there are more and more words out there every day and I wonder how to make mine worth the read AND worth some $. Thanks!

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