I expect a lot of you who read this little blog are also teachers, and I wonder if there's a commonality in our experience. I seem to have spent my life teaching--voice, diction, repertoire, opera theater, and now various aspects of writing--but I never feel that I've actually gotten there, that I've really learned how to share what's in my mind to share. And yet--my students from all these various fields are often in touch with me, making me feel that at the very least, their time with me wasn't wasted.
Yesterday I offered a little discussion on self-editing here at the Rainforest Writers Village Retreat. It turned out that the focus of my lesson, Ken Rand's brilliant little book The 10% Solution, was one all the attendees had already read and studied. The so-called lesson turned into a lively discussion of the foibles of some bestselling writers. It was hilarious, and was much improved by the presence of the terrific writer James Van Pelt (Summer of the Apocalypse) who is a real teacher, with an organized mind and a clearly-thought-out approach. Maybe in this case--and many times before--being a teacher is actually being a catalyst, and somehow learning happens despite the teacher's shortcomings.
It was a great session yesterday. There are some very bright writers here. I think I learned more than anybody.