Thursday, February 13

How Not to Be a Writer

I'm beginning to think all the books, college course, and seminars on how to be a writer are a sham. Like the latest diet telling you how to lose weight.

Telling someone " You can be a writer" is like telling someone " You can be a painter." but all the teaching will not make you a Hemingway or a Rembrandt. It's just the mechanics of a craft that can be passed on not the art. Knowing the mechanics will not necessarily unleash creativity. That must come from something undefinable within you. The place where dreams, visions, revelations come from. The muse must be called by means no one understands. Passion, imagination, the will to create are intangible and can not be taught.

Focusing on just the skills will not summon the creative muse, it will inhibit it. Cram the flights of fantasy, imagination and the divine insight into a box marked " How to" and see how quickly true invention gets buried under the weight of all those rules. The mechanics are fine for guidance and comprehension, think of them as "suggestions" but don't confuse them for the Real Thing.

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