Back in October 2007, in a certain online magazine article , the following statement was made about me.
"The guy is clearly not a writer." (My brother John makes sure to point that out to me whenever he gets a chance.)
I appreciate the fact that Poop and Boogies got the attention that it did and the writer of the article, Lisa Cullen, did say some nice things about the blog, but that one statement stuck with me (maybe because John's reminders).
I started this blog four years ago as a way for people to stay in touch with me and my family. I never set out to be a writer. I have found that I have fun with the feedback of the blogging medium. I like telling stories. I enjoy writing.
A few weeks ago I started taking a creative writing course at the local high school's adult evening school. Why? Well, I want to be a better writer for this blog. Which is funny because I have been spending all my free writing time working on the assignments that I have not had much time to post here. It is a bad cycle. I want to improve my blog, so I take a class that sucks up all my time, that I neglect the blog I want to improve by taking a writing class.
Here is what I have learned so far from the creative writing course.
1. There really is nothing creative about it. It is more like a grammar 101 type of course. Which, believe me, I need all the help I can get in the grammar department but I thought the class was going to be more of a creative exchange of ideas and what not.
2. I really need to improve my word choices in my writing.
3. I make a terrible student. Not because I don't listen or pay attention but because I moan and sigh and get frustrated with the way the teacher teaches. She talks down to people as if they should already know the answer to her questions or criticism. Which cracks me up because if a student knew all the answers they would not feel a need to be taking a course and would not be in the room to have the teacher talk down to them. If they have a bad experience they may not take another class and then they will forget what they learned and have to take a class again. Another a bad cycle.
4. I hate when the rhythm of a class comes to a screeching halt because the teacher has to make sure the slowest student is "getting" what she is teaching. I call it teaching to the lowest common denominator. I can't stand it.
5. I need to learn to edit my writings (I may go through my archives and edit some of the posts to sharpen them up).
6. I hate being the lowest common denominator.
7. Back to the grammar- I get the importance of grammar. I have a basic understanding of grammar, punctuation and syntax. I know that this is an area in my writing that needs improvement. That being said, I do not find grammar jokes funny. The jokes are not at any one person's expense, they were just "humorous" stories shared by the instructor and other people in the class about improper use of a comma, apostrophe or a word. They giggled and chuckled the whole time. I didn't get it. I equate grammar humor to making women watch the Three Stooges and asking if they thought it was funny. Women don't get the Moe, Larry and Curly.
8. If I can work on numbers 2 and 5 as well as punctuation and grammar I will have a solid backbone, foundation if you will, to be an okay writer.
I hope when the course is over I can take what I have learned and apply it to my writing here. I hope that I can improve my blog and maybe get some advertisers or other people interested in actually paying me some money for the use of some sidebar space. I can then use that money to take another course to learn about search engine optimization and RSS feeds and HTML and other web stuff (which I really need help with this stuff) so I can improve their advertising impressions. And when I take the course I will neglect their ad space because I am busy trying to learn about web advertising. Another Bad cycle.
Actually, I hope to improve Poop and Boogies just so people will come back and read some more. Maybe I will get another four years out this here blog. And maybe, one day, someone will say "This guy is clearly an okay writer."