This evening I met with the man who has been teaching the writing class at our local senior center. Im not quite a senior. I imagine I have to retire to be a "true" senior, but I am old enough to take a class at the senior center. The class was 8 weeks long, meeting once a week on Tuesday evenings. There were 8 people in the class, all of us close in age, sort of.
The class was a a mixed bag of prompts and critique with an occasional lesson thrown in. The strength of the teacher? His amazing honesty and critical eye for what is good and believable about everyone's writing. He was able to get it through my head that my writing is worth reading by someone. For so many years, I have been paralyzed by reading brilliant writing. I then felt my writing could only be shared if it was perfect.
I now believe I am a writer because I write. Is everything perfect? No. Are some things worthwhile? Maybe. Do I have fun doing it? YES!! A big YES. What a gift to be given by another writer.
Writing and sharing writing is not about an ego trip as much as its about sharing yourself for the joy of it and to build community with others. Its another way we extend a hand out to someone, either by making them laugh, or cry, or just saying hmmm or ahhhh. It allows someone who reads to recognize themselves in someone else.