Saturday, June 11, 2011

How is Teaching like Visiting a Book Club?

Realized recently how similar it feels to visit a book club and teach a writing class. (This comes after back-to-back stints at BackSpace and Philadelphia Writer's Conference, with lots of book club visits, bookstore visits, and a journalling workshop or two . . . Phew. I'm tired. Thinking #bubble bath)

Why the similarities? It's the wonderfully high level of intellectual discourse in some book clubs. The discussions about character, motivation, plotting and symbolism in book clubs like the one I just visited in Staten Island at the Barnes & Noble are as stimulating as anything discussed or taught at a writer's conference.

Which makes me think: should aspiring writers join book clubs, if they can find one that's more focused on books than on cocktails? Yes. Particularly if they want to write women's fiction. If they find the right group, they'll have a built-in focus group for their novel -- and a group that will be proud to have a writer within.

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