Writing Fuel

“I do not teach creative writing; I teach stubborn-ness and persistence.”

- Richard Bausch, faculty member, The Humber School for Writers

Much of my writing time these days is spent on novella-related matters, as the release date for Harbour View looms. There are blurbs to write and distribute, reviews and readings to organize, and a couple of book launches to think about. But every now and then I do manage to squeeze out a few words of fiction.

Whenever I sit down to write, or think about writing, I make use of some nugget or other that was revealed at Writing Camp. Such is the case with the above quotation of Richard Bausch. In fact, I heard that one at last summer’s camp, but his words have stayed with me through my exciting and sometimes difficult sabbatical.

It’s true, it does take a large measure of stubborn-ness and persistence, and unfailing belief in one’s work, to convince others – and at times, oneself – that this is a story worth telling and worth reading.

Along those lines, here’s another one, a question raised by that all-around cheerful guy, Franz Kafka:

“Is this novel really necessary?”

Mr. Kafka’s remark serves, for this writer, anyway, as fuel to keep going with the novel I’m writing. Yes, Mr. K, I believe this novel is really necessary. It’s not easy to write it, but it’s certainly a story that needs to be told. I’m grateful to my mentor for bringing the quotation to my attention: it’ll keep me going, at least for now.

(It’s always interesting to learn of others’ perceptions of a shared experience. May I direct Dear Reader’s attention to a fine article, Get With the Programwritten by one of my Writing Camp classmates.)


Categories: General.