Our Creative Nonfiction Workshop continues (internal link). This is the second week. The emphasis is on the personal essay; we are doing a great deal of writing on ourselves.
I would never entertain such a topic outside of a class. Personal essay? What’s the market? Who’s going to pay for that? An essay on me or my thoughts? How self-indulgent. But I need to stretch as a writer. I think within the safety of a not-for-profit environment our writing group can better develop as writers in general, even if we don’t intend to sell the world on our musings.
My high school art classes exposed students to different mediums. We scrawled in charcoal, smeared countless canvases with oils, and did pencil sketches by the score. It was only after these trials that I found I liked the totally unforgiving environment of pen and ink. Although I could only produce a few crude doodles, the austere world of black and white appealed. I became seized with a deck of black and white Tarot cards and I worked to copy them.
Only in a freewheeling setting like that could I experiment. And only there could I find out I wasn’t an artist. I like the exactitude of words and I was never good enough to make my art precise. Perhaps in this class I will develop an interest in something I’m not yet aware of. We shall see.