1/10/06 ~ Sleep. Don't sleep.

I love teaching Creative Writing. It's such an interesting mix of students. Since last semester, my class size has doubled. Primarily, my students come from three different groups. (1) AP Honors students who take the class to further suppliment their academic domination. (2) Sensitive outcasts who hang in the courtyard and tend to have an overwhelming amount of creative energy in need of an outlet. (3) High-risk students in need of an "easy A". They struggle in school, but give them an opportunity and they can be the strongest writers. Creative Writing is one of the few classes available with students on both fringes--the over achiever and the under achiever, the priviledged and the marginalized.

I've intentionally strayed from teaching the class as literary group therapy. This class is not for spewing mood poems and keeping a dream journal. I teach writing as a craft. I teach my students how to tell a story. We talk about structure, plot, character arcs, and the practical aspects of developing an idea. I continually emphasize there are no tricks or shortcuts to being a good writer. You have to become comfortable with the process. You have to write.

I enjoy teaching an elective where the students choose to be part of the class. They want to learn. It's a real charge to see them take notes and ask questions. The class is a continual challenge for me to maintain my own writing and not be a hypocrite.

It feels good to stay up late, to crawl into bed after Melissa has already been asleep for hours. To wake up next morning, tired beyond words, and realize I could've gone to sleep earlier. But instead, I chose to write.