Not in a classroom.It doesn't matter if you've got a project going, or a dozen, or nothing at all. These are the skills that you will use the first time you face the blank page, or the hundredth.You're a reading junkie, aren't you?
Author: Michael LaRocca
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Can you learn creative writing?I don't believe that creativity can be taught. Either you're born with it or you're not.That's gotta make you wonder why I taught Creative Writing to literally thousands of students, mostly in classrooms, or why Creative Writing classes exist at all.It's because the craft of writing can be studied and learned. If you have that innate creativity, that's wonderful. But you've got to bring that out. Creation remains "mystical" but craft is learned and honed by many hours of hard work.If you have something that you need to express, and the act of expressing it is agony, that's just not right. We want the act of self-expression to become as easy and as natural as possible.How do we do that?Practice. That's the only way. Write constantly. Write thousands of words for years and years knowing it's okay if most of them suck. Mine sure did.To distill what you think, feel and believe from all the trash floating around in your head, and then to actually put that on paper the way you mean to put it, is a skill that only comes from years of practice. They don't teach it in any school I've ever been to. I struggled at this for 20 years or so after I graduated from college. That's how I learned to write. Not in a classroom.It doesn't matter if you've got a project going, or a dozen, or nothing at all. These are the skills that you will use the first time you face the blank page, or the hundredth.You're a reading junkie, aren't you? I think you have to be. If you want to write, you must read. If you don't love reading, you can't create something that others will love reading. If you don't love reading, then writing isn't for you. It's not about writing because you want to say, "I am a writer." It's about writing because you love writing. And reading.In your lifetime of reading, you've been unconsciously internalizing the rules of great writing. That's what you want. To internalize.First we study rulebooks, perhaps take some classes, and conclude just about everything we're is doing is wrong. So many rules to memorize. We might dread sitting down to write with all those constraints.But really, it's not about memorizing rules at all. It's about internalizing the rules, following them (or not if you prefer) without being consciously aware of what they are. They're there, but in the background.Your story is what matters. You're supposed to be having fun, not "working." At least not during the creation phase.Study rules, learn rules, memorize rules... there's one more step. Internalize rules.Well, actually, there's another step after that. Break rules. But do it deliberately, not out of ignorance.In the process of all this work, you'll find your own unique writing voice. Without that, there's no point in writing at all.