Letter from the director, February 2018
On Wednesday, a blue moon, super moon, and blood moon coincided in the pre-dawn sky for the first time in 152 years.
What a universe we live in.
I want to talk about wonder, because I’ve been thinking a lot about how so many people might be writers and not even know it because they haven’t, for whatever reason, channeled their wonder and awe at the world around them. That’s all it takes, really, to be a writer: find your sense of wonder, and practice communicating it on the page. If you can’t convey wonder, no matter your subject, genre, form, or style, who will keep reading? How will you move your readers from an emotional point A to a more knowing, empathizing, wonder-filled point B? Why are you writing at all?
What I love about the Center for Creative Writing, what I think sets it apart from other opportunities for writers, is our emphasis on wonder and inspiration. I’ve been trying to articulate that emphasis in my communication with current and potential students, as well as in blog and social media posts. Wonder is an inkwell, a match to a wick. I will go out on a limb here and say that there is no good writing without it. In my post last week, I talked about non-writing activities that will help make you a better writer, and one of my key points was that even those moments spent not writing can be re-framed as writing work because all of them make us better “noticers.” Writing is noticing. Writing is capturing wonder.
It’s February 1, and the light and warmth are returning as we in the northern hemisphere move once again closer to the sun. We go about our days, run out for coffee, troubleshoot computer issues, over-schedule ourselves, prepare meals, try to stay on task, often without any awareness at all about our movement through the cosmos.
But did you see the moon yesterday?
For your soul and for your writing, I hope you will always take a moment to look up.
Stacia M. Fleegal