Years ago I took a creative writing class that changed how I looked at literate creativity. My professor was Rick Alley, a poet, and an amazing human being. His book is on Amazon, and if you want inspiration and carefully crafted poetry, I suggest that you pick it up.
The classes were taught more as a writing group. Alley didn’t just sit in front of the class, give us prompts, and tell us the formula for a perfect book. He encouraged everyone to submit their work and then, when your time came, you read your story/poem/chapter to the class. He would always start the critiquing process, but the entire class was encouraged to give their constructive criticisms.
He said that writing wasn’t just about showing your work, but helping others with theirs. Editing made better authors. It is a rule I stand by.
Rick Alley is the kind of teacher that can see your potential and pull it out. He will tell you where you are weak, and what you can do better, but never without a dollop of hope that he believes in you. It is for this reason that I am forever indebted to him.
And I’m not the only one.
Yesterday I managed to bump into another former student. He was selling his own book, a book that he worked on during our time in that same class. It struck me in the heart to know that he had made it. We talked about the class, about our work. We exchanged information in the hope of future networking, I bought his book, and wished him well.
It struck me, sometime later, that I was holding something that I helped create. I had sat in that writing circle and offered my two cents. It was a humbling moment. It was also an inspirational one. He had succeeded in his writing dream. I can too.
So, go pick up The Lost Reflection by Bruce T. Jones. I plan on doing a bit of a read along.