|Head one: Writing is the fountainhead of true artistic bliss.|
Head two: And you suck at it.
Head one: But I can guide you through how to bring all those feelings to life.
Head two: Because right now you suck at it.
The single most amazing professor(s) I've ever had for the craft of fiction. They made us work and made us work hard, and I learned more from them in a class than I did in 15 weeks of some other instructors. Janusprof was amazing. However, I probably should have sensed trouble brewing when they told me that all students were required to spend one hour in the iron maiden each week having their "pretentiousness bled out."
As I learned more than I ever thought possible about craft, I also knew that Janusprof was slowly killing Cathamel's will to live by turning up the volume inexorably on my internal critics. Janusprof was the air on a New England shore--refreshing, crisp, exhilarating, invigorating, possibly even inspiring but...ultimately corrosive over time.
Fluffy prof never did get around to really making us work. Usually we just sat around her class feeling things. Once she had us feel things about all the feeling we had been doing doing, and then had us freewrite about how feeling those feelings about all that feeling we'd been having made us feel. Academic rigor was not something terribly important in Fluffyprof's classes.
With the exception of Janusprof, and in a plot twist that surprises no one who actually writes, my literature professors taught me more about how to actually write than most of my creative writing instructors. Forcing us to read five or ten times as much as the Creative Writing classes and do close reading analysis for our essays turned out to be a better examination of how to use words to achieve effect than all the touchy feely advice about writing after dark and finding the heat. English prof came in two forms: everyone else and Sara Hackenberg.