Monday, September 19, 2011

Experience it yourself


Years and years ago, during orientation for graduate school, during the q&a when us green master of fine arts in creative writing students were gathered in some bland, windowless auditorium, I dared to ask about the university’s bus service. The head of the program responded. He said, if I wanted to know about it, I should get on a bus and ride. Don’t ask us professors, he said. Don’t ask us administrators. Go ride the bus. Or, at least, call the bus service itself.

My cheeks probably flamed red, and I ducked my head, chastised. After I recovered from my embarrassment, too-soft freshman that I was, I heard his advice. It resonated. As a writer, you must experience. Much of the craft, much of the writing, is written from personal experience.

This week, I get to go to the Writer's Police Academy. It's as close to being a law enforcement officer as I think I'm going to get, and many of the workshops sound extremely hands-on. I can't wait!

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