Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Faking It

You know that old saying, Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach? I'm not so sure about the truth of it. Most teachers I've encountered in my life certainly can do. And I have too much respect for teachers to hurl such an insult.

But I understand the joke behind it. In fact, if the saying went Those who can, do. Those who can't, criticize I'd go so far as to embroider it on a pillow.

Looking over my blog entries since I began this little project, I see that I've moved away from offering up opinions on craft. Part of this is because there are only so many ways you can discuss POV and what makes a great or poor story and whether or not adverbs are truly the evil sent to Earth by Satan himself that so many claim.

Too, I've started to question why in the world I, of all people, feel authorized to speak about the craft of writing in any capacity other than that of a reader of writing. I haven't had a thing published. I certainly haven't been doing this my entire life. Lord knows I am far from perfect (some would say farther than others). All I know about writing is what I've read in how-tos, learned in workshops, and gleaned from reading it done well and done poorly. It's only in the last two years that I've even developed the vocabulary to discuss the good and the bad.

So surely I'm engaging in the worst form of those who can't, teaching. Or...blogging. Something.

But since I am the Queen of Justification - really, I am. I can justifty anything if you ask me to. - I'll give myself the out of this being just one more learning tool for myself. I've always been the type of learner who absorbed and retained things better if I wrote it out myself. When I'd read a textbook, highlighting key passages wasn't enough to send the critical info into my brain for permanent residence. I needed to actually write it down in a notebook for it to really stick.

In using this blog to discuss issues of craft, I've gotten the chance to take things apart and examine them and then put them back together again. Doing this helps me understand the stuff better, see why it is the way it is, and hopefully to better apply it in my own work.

Too, any writng is practice, right? So even if I spend 1,000 words contemplating my own navel, it hasn't been an utter waste.

So anyone out there - unpublished, I should say - who engages in lots of meaningful thought and discussion about craft. Do you feel like a fake? Kind of like an actor on ER pretending to be a doctor, who knows the fancy million-dollar words and which instrument to pick up when, but if you were thrust into a real emergency room, god help you.


AE Rought said...

This is not your normal tone, Lynn, is everything okay?? I reached a point much similar to this. "What can I possibly say? I'm not a published author." Well, that struck a cord somewhere, and sudenly that concept surrounding the word aspiring began to bother me.

We may not be published, we may not be perfect in the craft, but dammit all, we ARE writers. Publication is a public form of verification, and I don't need anyone's verification but my own.

Blog about what you know, blog about what you think, blog about yourself and what you are writing now. Those who come to learn will learn what you have to share.There are those that will come because of your voice.

If they don't come, that's okay, too. YOU ARE A WRITER, with or without them.

Sorry for the long winded rant... *sheepish grin*

Lynn M said...

Oh, thanks for the concern, AE. I'm doing just fine. It's one of those times when I was looking over old posts and noticed a trend that made me laugh. How easy it is to talk the talk and how much harder it is to walk the walk.

Funny, but the one place I feel like a writer is here, in this blog. I think this is because it's something I do regularly and also because I can see improvement over time. This is the first step in my road to becoming disciplined, so it's a good thing :)