Showing posts from April, 2015

Turning a corner

Writing, like any other skill set, develops in fits and starts, not gradually.

That is, when you decide to improve your writing skills, you may labor for weeks or months with little obvious progress. It's analogous to climbing a big mountain: the small steps feel like nothing, but added up, they get you to the top of the mountain.

Then, almost miraculously, your writing takes a great leap forward.

But in truth, this is not a miracle, in the sense that miracles cannot be explained through the laws of nature. The great leap is simply the visible manifestation of the hard work you have put into improving your writing skills.

Last night, my Wednesday night class made a collective great leap. I asked them to complete two different in-class assignments: a carefully-constructed paragraph on their favorite holiday and a complete essay on which class they plan to take after they finish my class.

The improvements were impressive. The paragraphs (for the most part) were competently composed,…