Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Can Hard Work Make You a Good Writer?

From the blog jacksmumontherun
Are good writers born or made? Can writing skills be developed through practice? Ken Haruf, best known for the National Book Award finalist Plainsong, had this to say on the topic: “It doesn't seem to me there's a scarcity of talent among students who want to write. But what there is a lack of is a talent for work, that it's so difficult to write and it takes so long to learn how to write well that most people give it up before they get good enough.” (from interview 10 years ago on NPR's Diane Rehm Show-italics added for emphasis)

Haruf died on November 30 of this year at the age of 71. It wasn’t until he was 40 that he got his work published. He modestly said that it took him that long to get good enough to be published.

If you’ve been meaning to work on your writing skills, the library is here to help. Starting in January, BPL will offer free poetry writing workshops for adults twice a month, on first and third Tuesday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Storycastle of the downtown library. The sessions will be led by two instructors with impressive credentials, Tina Mozelle Braziel and Alicia Clavell. They will take turns teaching the workshop. Tina has extensive experience teaching creative writing including directing the Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop for high school students at the University of Alabama in Birmingham each summer. She earned her MFA in poetry from the University of Oregon. Alicia is currently a full-time instructor in Business Communications at UAB. She is also working on a Ph.D. in English with a concentration in poetry writing from Georgia State University.

Check out these library titles to help hone your writing skills:

Art of Slow Writing : Reflections on Time, Craft, and Creativity / by Louise DeSalvo
Beyond the First Draft : The Art of Fiction / by John Casey
Bird by Bird : Some Instructions on Writing and Life / by Anne Lamott 
The Faith of a Writer : Life, Craft, Art / by Joyce Carol Oates
How to Write Short : Word Craft for Fast Times / by Roy Peter Clark
The World Split Open: Great Writers on How and Why We Write 
The Ode Less Travelled : Unlocking the Poet Within / by Stephen Fry
On Writing : A Memoir of the Craft / by Stephen King
On Writing Well : The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction / by William Zinsser
Writing Down the Bones : Freeing the Writer Within / by Natalie Goldberg
Your Life Is a Book: How to Craft & Publish Your Memoir / by Brenda Peterson

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