journalwritingIn the spirit of Hallowe’en I recently reread Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. I enjoyed the story but more so his writing style. Mr. Irving has an elegant way with words. When I read the works of a good writer it inspires me to do better.  I want the lexicon of Dickens, the wit of Ellis, the prosody (and pith) of O’Connor combined into the humor of several to create something all my own and just as satisfying.

I’m contemplating taking a writing course, for I want to be a better writer. After all, the main reason for blogging is to scratch the itch I have to become one. I do not want to be a professional writer, but I desire to be decent. I’ve been scribbling out various types of prose here at Spo-Reflections since 2006. While I am pleased with the sometimes satisfactory prose I would like to see improvement.

Tonight I saw a preview of a play about a collection of writers coming together work on improving their work. The director of the play asked how many people have at home in a drawer some unfinished piece of writing they’ve not shown anyone. Most of the audience raised their hand as did Urs Truly.  Indeed, tucked away in my personal files is the outline of a story I’ve fancied fleshing out if I only knew how to do it properly.  I fear if I did it now it would be fair at best or (worse) derivative. So it remains uncompleted after years if not decades, waiting for me to have the skill to master its conclusion.

Each time I write a blog entry I hope to see improvements. Perhaps (like getting to Carnegie Hall) all one really needs is practice; is it as simple as that? All the same, I desire a mentor, a prose-personal trainer, or teacher to give me some tips of the trade and make me better. Sometimes I fear good writing isn’t learnable but an innate talent which you do or do not have (and I don’t). Nevertheless I’m keen to find out. So this month I will see if any of the community colleges offer ‘Writing 101”.  The professor may not be able to make a race horse out of this sow, but I am hoping at least he/she can make me a very fast pig.

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