The Semester of Writing

For years, I’ve wanted to be a writer. I’ve delayed and delayed it, rationalizing to myself that it would be arrogant of me to assume that I know enough about life to portray it on paper before I’ve truly lived a life myself. The plan has always been to go through school, pursue a career, create memories, and then use writing as a way to reflect when I’m older, when I’m retired and have nothing else to do. Yet this semester is making me question this life plan. Maybe the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Who’s to say that I can’t write and work full time? I might start writing a lot sooner than I thought, and I owe a lot of it to the classes I’m in now.

This spring, I’m taking Fiction Writing II, Creative Nonfiction Writing, and The Art of the Novel.  The three classes build off of each other, giving an almost magical synergistic effect. I’ll learn something in one class, then immediately study it in the next, allowing me to truly understand the concepts, or at least understand how much I don’t understand. I’m only now seeing the tip of the iceberg, and don’t think I’ll ever know all there is to know about it.

Both Fiction and Nonfiction have a reliable, similar schedule. We have class two days per week. We mix classes up between workshopping each other’s pieces (reading each other’s pieces and talking about them), discussing published pieces, and writing our own. The Art of the Novel is a little bit different, focusing more on reading assignments and discussions, with three essays during the semester.

By studying pieces of the published authors, we get to see exactly how they do what they do. Its been incredible to watch my writing slowly improve as the classes go on and we read more.

Books on books on books.

My reading list for the semester.