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Scott Lax Blog

Knowing that the Effort is Real

When it comes to teaching, I like what James Baldwin said: "If you are going to be a writer there is nothing I can say to stop you; if you're not going to be a writer nothing I can say will help you. What you really need at the beginning is somebody to let you know that the effort is real."

That's all I try to do in my teaching: let students know that their effort is real. Sometimes they realize they don't want to make the effort. That's okay, too.

Most of a student's success comes because he or she has some talent, works hard, stays humble, takes some advice and throws out the rest. Creative writing teachers should guide their students' efforts; they should helping students find their stories, and find their voices in order to translate and shape those stories into the written form.  Read More