Teaching versus doing

Posted on November 5, 2013. Filed under: storytelling, writing | Tags: , , |

I have fallen in love with teaching writing, specifically teaching storytelling.  In addition to my half day workshops, I have recently begun teaching a four week advanced storytelling workshop.

As I am starting to book more storytelling workshops, and spend more time writing curriculum instead of stories, I have to ask myself, “does teaching writing detract from the act of writing?”

I don’t know.  I think, at my current level – just one to three classes a week – it doesn’t terribly impact my personal writing. It does take some time, which means less time for me to write (and there’s already so little time) but not so much that I couldn’t find some time to sneak in a few paragraphs here and there.

Putting the time concern aside, it’s the creative drain I worry about the most.  Like writing for a job – writing scripts for clients in my case – teaching writing takes a creative endeavor and makes it “work.”  Does that drain my creative juices so there’s none left when it’s time for my personal writing, in a similar way that writing as a job does?  So far as I can tell, just the opposite.

Maybe it’s because I get to hear so many new stories while teaching storytelling. Maybe it’s because I get to discuss how stories are formed and different techniques for finding and crafting stories, but I feel like teaching writing, for me, is more inspiring than draining.  It makes me want to write more. It makes me feel more creative and energized.  I do have the advantage, as a storytelling teacher, of not have to read long written works, or even having to grade anything, so I think that helps.  But there is also such an atmosphere of creativity in the workshops, a meeting of minds, if you will, that I feel creatively refreshed at the end of each class session.

Now, where’s that time to sneak in a few paragraphs?


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