a work in progress

I’m taking a “Creative Non-fiction” writing class at Stanford.  The topic wasn’t my first choice – Johnson O’Connor had suggested I try fiction – but Thursday evening fits my schedule best.  The class has turned out to be great; I’m learning how to read, really read, and I’m learning for the first time how to take a structured approach to writing.  It’s exciting, invigorating, stuff.  Or at least, it was.


I met my 31-year old instructor for office hours at a cafe in the Mission.  Mission Pie has a bright, airy feel in upbeat contrast to the surrounding grunge.  But the sun outside didn’t particularly enliven our conversation.  My instructor, a former Stegner Fellow – that’s very prestigious, everyone assures me – hates what I’ve written so far.  He struggled to articulate all the ways in which my last piece was so very bad.  Finally he came up with this, apparently the ultimate putdown:  “your writing belongs in a blog.”


3 Responses to “a work in progress”

  1. susan Says:

    What a horrible thing to say! And what a snob. Please email me his list of published works. I bet it is short.

    • knightstango Says:

      > Please email me his list of published works. I bet it is short.

      Hah! That reminds me of Gary Kasparov saying of the competition to select his opponent for the World Chess Championship match: “It will be [Nigel] Short, and it will be short.” And it was.

      My instructor may have been on to something, though – blog writing may be a better match for my personality than “memoir” is. It might even prove to be more lucrative. Blogger or not, I know I can improve.

  2. Squid Says:

    Now that’s the spirit. Criticism helps us ride the edge of our fears of failure and possibility.

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