Teaching Writing

December 10th, 2010 — 7:11pm

I might teach a class on writing memoir. I’ve never taught a writing class before and I was thinking, if I were a beginning writer, what would I most want to know?

What I’d want to know is this poem by Leonard Cohen:

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

In other words, don’t wait for perfect pearls to drop from your mouth. Speak what is real and true, here and now. We are all broken in some way, and when we know that — when we respect the places where we are broken, jagged, and raw — then we have the chance to create art.

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