Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Another Writing Class
Tonight begins another writing class. It's been a year since I was asked to teach in University of NC-Asheville's Great Smokies Writing Program -- this will be my fourth class. And I can't wait to see what sort of writers will be there!
I'll start them off with a brief description of how I got into writing -- via a class much like this one I'm teaching -- and go on with dire warnings about not quitting your day job. It's a crowded field and not many make a real living with their writing -- and only a miniscule few get those multi-million dollar deals.
Of course, everyone hopes to be one of the lucky few -- and most of these folks who've signed up for my class probably have the writing fever anyway. So we'll embark on ten sessions of working with setting, character, dialogue, plotting, and what I can only call Odds and Ends of Useful Information About Writing and Getting Published.
When I was first offered this gig I felt woefully inadequate -- most of the other teachers in the program have MFAs, awards, grants, publications in literary journals, terms as writers-in-residence, and all that stuff that looks good in a curriculum vitae. Me, I'm just a paperback writer -- no previous experience. (In fact, on the resume that I had to come up with before I could be hired by the university, there is a long stretch -- from 1975 to 2000 that I titled THE LOST YEARS - i.e. -not gainfully employed, just doing farm stuff.)
But of course, that's why they hired me -- I'm proof that you don't have to have all that background, as well as an inspiration to late bloomers everywhere! And when I greet my class tonight and they see me and my white hair and hear my story, I hope they think to themselves "Well! If she can do it . . .