The Magic Formula?

Posted: July 31, 2013 in Teaching, Writing

I spent today looking at different sites for both writing and teaching. One of the things that I noticed is the utter deluge of magic bullsh**t that people claim you should use. A word of advice to anyone looking into teaching or writing; stay away from anything proclaiming to having the formula figured out.

Now, some of these people are just striving to get their information out there, and I understand that. I used a bit of that in titling this post, but notice the subtle addition of the question mark at the end. Others are out to sell you something, and chances are it’s stale information. I actually saw a sight with a recent article on the use of smart-boards in the classroom. It made it sound as if this technology just arrived amongst us, mentioning the ability to write and erase with no mess and being able to save notes. This is certainly one plus of this technology, but it is not the only use for it. The fact is that most ‘how-to’ articles make mention of something that is already going on, and that is of little use if you are only starting out.

In the writing world it is not much different. There are many books about the basics of craft and process, and those will undoubtedly be useful until writing ceases to exist. There are also books about certain genres and trends. These are the ones that I am a little more wary about. Is there anyone out there hoping to write a fan fiction based on the Twilight series, only involving adults and bondage? Guess what? You’re too late. Better luck next time.

So, should we just give up and just let others have all the fun? Of course not, but I am proposing a different tact? Here is my magic formula for you. Write/teach/create the way that you feel suits you/your world/your classroom. Make sure to adhere to the basics that govern your craft, but innovate as well.

Flip your classroom.

Have your students flip it on you.

What if both the antagonist and protagonist have the same, pleasant goal?

Write a story from the viewpoint of a virus.

Write whatever.

Teach however.

The magic is really in you, and only you can let it out.

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