A little background before I get too far along: I started writing fiction in the spring of 2004 when I took a “Writing of Fiction” class while working toward my Bachelor’s. I took the class because:
- I thought I could learn something about writing in general, and use that information to write picture books, and
- I had to take a writing class to satisfy my core credit requirements.
And let’s be honest, #1 wouldn’t have felt pressing enough to have taken the class if it hadn’t been for #2.
So I took it, and I wrote.
My writing professor was Dr. Michael Arnzen, winner of multiple Bram Stokers for horror writing. Turns out Dr. A likes the twisted stuff, so I was greeted with a healthy dose of professional encouragement.
Besides writing, we did an awful lot of reading which, really, only makes sense. I was never much of a reader growing up (I figured out later I was either reading things that really didn’t interest me or I was reading from mass market paperbacks where the type was too small, the margins too narrow and my mind too ready to wander off the page). In this class, I finally learned how to read fiction.
As for the writing part, I hated writing before I got there, but was willing to try and learn. Even after I started getting the hang of it, I still hated to write. I told Dr. A once that writing hurt. He said, “Then you must be doing it right.”
So here I am, in the midst of writing an entire book filled with words and ideas that I’ve strung together. And it still hurts, and I avoid it as long as possible. But sometimes the end results outweigh the throbbing it takes to get there, so I’ll willingly trudge onward.
And for this, I thank you, Dr. A.