Comparing Writing and Teaching

Thoughts roll around in me head until at some point it valuable for me to get them out of there and “out there.” Such is the case here. Don’t know where this is going even as I put it out into cyberspace:

Teaching and Writing require many artes in common:
1. Both are “pre-thought” – I know one can engage in both without prior thought, I just question the worth of those engagements. (perhaps such as the one I am currently engaged in, this blog, though I realize that I have been thinking about it for half an hour or so before committing to writing it in the blog, so I defeat my own objection to my argument). Good teaching does not necessarily necessitate knowing “exactly” where it will end up, but it must have a point A and some notion of point B. So with writing. I often am not sure where a character or idea will wind up as I am writing about it, but I do have general intentions.
2. Both are definitely arts, not sciences.
3. Both are dangerous enterprises, mostly due to their cost in personal investment. Student and teacher, author and reader, share in an intimate conversation, most of which the teacher/writer share the lion’s share of the “nakedness.”
4. Invention is the key in both. The scope and sequence of both a class and good story are the thing, almost in its entirety. Do well in choosing this and you have a ready made success almost placed in your hands with a bow. Blow this, and I am not sure you can recover down the road in the following steps.
5. Editorial input is a great value to both. This is obvious in writing, and I fear somewhat neglected in teaching, but what teacher is not made better by others observing and discussing their teaching? Of course, I know of nothing more possibly annoying to both teacher and author than going through this process, but the wise humble themselves before it. The key may be the agreement of author/teacher with their chosen editors.

I am sure there are more, and maybe I will take it up again, but I must get my hairs cut now.


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