June 22, 2008


Dan Barden, in a rant against creative writing classes, as published in the Poets & Writers magazine (March/April 2008 issue).
Most workshop stories that I’ve read are missing that crucial element of conflict. It’s little wonder. We’re terrified of the pain and suffering it takes to become a good writer, let alone the pain and suffering that’s inherent in good writing itself. Desire is important to creative writing because it’s the only thing that causes conflict. Conflict is important to writers because it’s the only evidence of desire. So few of us have faced up to the fact that we are at war with ourselves, with others, with the very conditions of our lives.
Having joined a writing workshop last week and facing the daunting prospect of starting on my first "assignment", I am filled with terror alright. But what about the desire?

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