Posts on Writing & Ephemera

Why I Teach Creative Writing

I believe that all people, even the most novice writers, have many stories to tell.  The task starts simply, with a word scratched on a page and soon, if the words are allowed to flow freely, the struggle is not to find material but to keep the writing hours manageable and productive while the complexities of a story work themselves out.  How to do this?  Start writing.  Write regularly.  Learn to listen to your writing and the potential that it holds.  Listen with openness.  You have the stories; the stories you want to write, and the stories not yet known to you that will emerge as you write.  Let them emerge; look listen and feel for what you’ve written.  Don’t cling too tightly to your drafts but hold them loosely; let them breathe.  You do not need to be told what to write about, nor should you contrive to discover what you “should” write about.  The stories are already yours, and it is only you who can give these life.

People often show up in my classes possessed of a belief that their work must be perfect, right at the very first draft, and judge themselves accordingly. Don’t be like that. Make it good later. First, you need to find out what the story is, to see it on the page, then we’ll look at the tools you’ll need to shape it for a reader.


Ken MurrayWhy I Teach Creative Writing