Podcast: Teaching Writing and Honing Your Craft
In this episode, we’re talking about honing your craft. We all know writing is a practice, just like practicing piano or practicing to learn a new language, even learning patience is a practice. It’s something that’s just never quite finished, but improves the more we do it. Joining us for the conversation is someone who gets to witness writers learning how to write at her day job: C+C Writer and Director of Creativity, Anna Jordan.
A little about Anna: She got her BA in English Literature from Westmont College and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Anna’s work has appeared in Verily Magazine, Literary Mama, Chicago Literati, Flash Fiction Magazine, and The Broadcast, among others. She is currently fast at work (or, more accurately, quite quite slow at work) on a linked collection of short stories. Anna and her husband have three children, one adopted through foster care and two produced the old-fashioned way. These tiny people have proven to be a great inspiration for all of Anna's creative endeavors, which you can see on her website at annajordan.net, or on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
Resources Anna recommends:
Julia Cameron’s morning pages exercise.
This TED Talk with Elizabeth Gilbert.
Stanford Adult Continuing Education classes are available online and are taught by Stanford Stegner Fellows and Anna says they are totally worth the money.
Whether it’s for Intro to Composition or Advanced Composition, Creative Nonfiction or Fiction, Anna has the same learning outcomes for each of her classes and each student:
“My goal for this course is that you become a better writer and a better reader, thinker, and engager of written material. At the end of this course, you will produce work that doesn’t just make you feel something, but inspires an emotional response from others because you have told the truth.”
When our writing time is so scarce and so sacred, we want things to be perfect right away. And that’s totally valid, but there’s something so wonderful about turning off your internal editor and just going for it. Morning pages provides a really healthy framework for that: for three pages, just write. No punctuation necessary, spelling doesn’t matter, no one else is going to see it. Get out some paper and your best (or worst!) handwriting and go for it.
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