Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Class dismissed

Dear diary, it's been two months since my last blog post.

(I believe that sentence is a mixed metaphor. Ahh well.)

During my time away from the blogging life, I took a class in creative nonfiction from Creative Nonfiction. The class, Basics in a Nutshell, covered the personal, profile, immersion, and fact-heavy essays. The course satisfied my desire to learn, to improve as a writer, and to test myself. Here are my big takeaways:

1) I love to write creative nonfiction. Other people's stories stir me. What could be better than to share in a person's life and then write it down, so that others might be a part of it too?

2) Sometimes, it is more humble to include yourself in the story. When you write about another person, you bring your own insight, and biases, to the telling. Traditional journalism strives to be unbiased, and pushes the reporter to be the invisible narrator. This can give the sense that the journalist's version of the story is the only way to see the story, or the people in the story. By including the context, and the perspective of the reporter, the reader is more aware of the limits of the piece.

I think this becomes less important the more time you spend with a subject, but I'll probably never be able follow a subject around the world. Better to just admit it: I'll never be Gay Talese except in my fantasy life.

(My fantasy life is pretty vivid. Let's amend that last admission. I'll PROBABLY never be Gay Talese.)

Over the next few months I'll be polishing my work from this class and then submitting it for publication.  I'm going to try to return to blogging, and will begin writing some sketches with a partner for Script Frenzy in April. But first, I'm going to go breathe. Yay spring!

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