Posted by: oneyearbook | October 8, 2009


So I’m taking a class this month, in an attempt to get myself up and out of the house and out talking writing with other interested writer-types. It’s through the continuing ed program at the local college and it’s being taught by Susan Musgrave, and if you don’t recognize the name, click through that link to her webpage and read her biographical information, because besides being a very accomplished writer (I’d say she’s best known for poetry, but she’s also written three novels, a number of books for children, and some creative non-fiction), she’s had quite an interesting life. Amusingly, at the first class she made a number of quite deadpan jokes about said interesting life, noting that “writers need domestic calm” and that having a life like hers is sometimes not conducive to getting the writing done. She seems like exactly the type of teacher I like to have for these sorts of things: she’s confident when giving instruction, friendly, supportive, open with her own experiences as a writer, and willing to admit that what works for one writer may not be the thing for someone else.

The class is Monday and Thursday nights through October, and she’s assigned us (I mean, sort of – it’s continuing ed, so if we don’t do it, there’s no penalty; she just wants to inspire us to get something done) to write a short story during the 21 day stretch that the class encompasses. This is exactly one of the things I wanted from the class – I’ve been pushing at an idea for a little bit, but been unwilling to sit down and do anything with it, and last night after the class I sat down and wrote a couple pages.

Interesting to hear from the people in the class – there’s about 15, I think – why they’re there, what their backgrounds are, etc. Lots of diversity, from a woman who’s published a novel in the UK and is slogging away at a second one, to a man who previously found writing fiction to be the hardest section of a broader writing class and wants to challenge himself with this class. In university I found that my writing classes had the most diversity in the students, in terms of age, professional experience, and so on, and this is no exception. I’m hopeful that it will be a good outlet for sharing the writing experience, because I’m finding that writing a novel can often be an isolating process, burrowing me deeper and deeper into my own brain, with no glimpse of the light to pull me back up.



  1. Good luck. For more great interaction with writerly types, you might try a writers’ conference.

  2. how’s it going?

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