On learning to write

Those who have been paying attention will recall that I am a self-taught writer.  I have no degrees in Creative Writing, nor English, Literature, or any of the rest.  I learned, first, by reading; and I learned, later, by doing.  This is not to say that one ever stops learning by reading, and most especially by doing, but there was, in my case, a certain progression.  I read until my brain had absorbed. . .Enough, and then I moved on to Phase II.

Which is where I, and every other writer, if they’re honest, resides for the entirety of their professional lives.

So this morning I decided to revisit one of the stories that inspired me — a story that I still aspire to equal, some day.

I was a little afraid that it would not be as wonderful — as brightly perfect — as I recalled, as it’s been some years since my most recent re-read.

The story is still wonderful, and I am, as yet and still, only an egg.

Here’s a link:  Srendi Vashtar, H.H. Munro

You’re welcome.


5 thoughts on “On learning to write”

  1. Very interesting short story. I have never seen in before. The cadence of the sentences, the eloquent word choices, and the nature in the revealing of facts is strongly reminiscent of Liaden tales. Or vice versa.

  2. “Srendi Vashtar” is not one of Saki’s (HH Munro). . .most celebrated stories. People tend to reprint/teach/admire “The Open Window,” which to my mind is a blunt instrument, where “Srendi…” is a thin, sharp knife.

  3. Thank you for another wonderful experience. You might appreciate that one of my early mentors, the late great Walter S. Campbell (aka Stanley Vestal) who established the Professional Writing courses at the University of Oklahoma, steadfastly refused until almost the end of his life to provide a degree of any sort to those who studied under his tutelage. “Editors buy only what they like,” he maintained, “and no degree means anything to them.” He never claimed to teach anyone how to write — only that he could trim 10 years from their apprenticeship. And many if not most of his students, including myself, sported national sales while still in his classes.

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