Reflecting on Creative Writing

Reflecting on Creative Writing Course         

Through-out this semester I believe my writing skills have improved.  The credit for this improvement goes to the Creative Writing course.  I have always had interest in creative literary pieces but prior to enrolling in this class, I never read outside of the genres I enjoy.  This semester allowed me to step out of my comfort zone of novel reading and realize the enormous amount of genre themes and forms of writing available.  The general terminology provided in the Creative Writing Textbook and classroom discussion greatly assisted in my understanding of the language of writers and meaning of literary terms.

            The Creative Writing course also calmed my fears concerning my major in Professional Writing.  I wanted to feel comfortable writing my own non-fiction stories but did not know how to go about accomplishing this.  Often I would doubt my ability to make what has happened or is happening in my life interesting to others.  I did not want my short stories to have a whiney sense about them that would cause a negative reaction from a reader.  My goal was to find a way to share clips of my life in a humorous and/or shocking fashion that would hold a reader’s attention as a compelling piece of work. 

            At times the writing workshops were interesting beyond words.  The creativeness of my classmates really pushed me to give serious thought to what I would be presenting during my workshop timeslot.  Assumptions I made at the beginning of the semester were crushed by the abilities of my fellow students.  Never again will I jump to the conclusion that someone who appears uninterested in class discussion won’t have the ability to write captivating stories.  Of all the works presented during workshop, the piece that impressed me the most was that of a student that appeared to be lost in his own thoughts during class.

            Workshop also taught me the fine art of constructive criticism.  This is very important because I now have the ability to look deeper into a written piece of work and not only critique it but realize how differently people can interpret a story or poem.  I have a stronger appreciation for poetry and enjoy reading a poem several times to see if I can interpret it differently.  Classroom discussion of my essay opened my eyes to all the different avenues I could take concerning an aging bridge in York County. 

            I also credit visiting writers for creating excitement outside of the classroom setting.  Marcy Dermansky, Curtis Smith and especially    David Shields passion for writing was contagious.  Meeting these authors and hearing their personal stories as struggling artists was inspirational.  I literally felt like I could burst with happiness when Shields both praised and critiqued my hermit crab essay.  Also this semester, I attended the Professional Writers Forum at Gettysburg College.  The amount of information I acquired will undeniably assist me in the future.

The greatest development for me personally is blogging on the WordPress.com website.  When my professor said “For nineteen bucks you can get your own blog site” my ears perked up.  I have been blogging regularly since early March and now have a following of people reading my work.  Recently my site surpassed five thousand hits and has generated comments on my site and to my email.  My plan for the future is to publish a creative non-fiction book containing slices of my life.  This blog site has become a preview to what my book will contain.  I believe loyal readers of my blog site will have interest in reading my published story. 

With these hopes of publishing a national best-seller, I will continue working on my drafts from class.  Using the knowledge I have gained this semester during class from my professor, visiting writers and classmates I will continue to push myself to “write what I can’t shut up about” to the best of my ability.

Go ahead...take a swing. I'll duck and listen.

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