Yesterday I finished a four-week teaching gig. It was just one two-hour class a week, so you might think it was not onerous, and it wasn't, really, because the students made it such a pleasant, stimulating experience. And yet today I am tired. I was doing other things, too, of course, so there was a cumulative effect of all my actvities. No matter. It was delightful.
I was thinking this morning how privileged I have been to be invited, however briefly, into another mind's creative process. I've taught creative writing/playwriting before, several times, as a writer-in-library.
The library usually puts a limit on the number of manuscripts it will receive for the resident writer to read and assess, as well as the number of pages, in the case of a novel. The limit is usually 60 pages and you multiply that by 60 to 100 writers, you can see that's a fair bit of reading. I have never received a mere 60 pages of a novel-in-progress; it's always been the entire manuscript. Oh well. So I usually read and copy-edit the whole thing and then offer an assessment and suggestions. Some of the work gets published, down the road; some does not. I've been thinking for some time about the unpublished manuscripts that I have read with the characters, events and insights that have become part of my memory - my own private library of delights.
This most recent teacher-student event, while brief, was still a revelation. I had only 7 (6) writers and they were all passionate, informed, skilled and receptive. We enjoyed an ongoing, creative conversation, at least, I did.
So why am I tired?