Are writing courses good for you?
The question that’s keeping me awake lately is whether or not to take a course. A course in writing, creative writing to be specific. I have been toying with the idea for quite some time now.
One of the many reasons that I want to go ahead with it is to get out of the house and into something that I like to do. For the past year or so I have lost touch with the outside world, specially with the professional world. I would very much like to meet people with the same interest as mine. To be able to have real conversations where I can discuss my thoughts and ideas with others who share my dreams and enthusiasm about writing.
Another reason as I mentioned earlier in one of my blog posts is that I lack discipline. I work better under pressure and I produce more if pressured by a deadline. Maybe, just maybe, a course will help me get back on the right path again. I get so hopeful and excited by all this. I even go online to check the availability as well as the possibility of such a course.
But then I read Mordecai Richler and I am hesitant. He called authors (including himself) who pretended to teach creative writing “frauds”. “Writing,” he explained, “obliged natural talent, which could not be instructed or acquired.” Once in the classroom, where students were normally expected to read their work aloud and critique each other, he demanded that they:
“quit the nonsense and read the great books, including the concise OED (Oxford English Dictionary) and Fowler’s Modern English Usage.”
What’s your take on this matter?