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Type: Journal article
Title: Am I no longer a writer? 'Universal' tenets and the writing/teaching self
Author: Hennessy, R.G.
Citation: New Writing: the international journal for the practice and theory of creative writing, 2021; 18(2):125-133
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Issue Date: 2021
ISSN: 1479-0726
Statement of
Rachel Hennessy
Abstract: The tension between the artist finding their own unique voice and the use of other artists as exemplars which, effectively, negates the notion of unique-ness and relies on rules and general tenets, is highly evident in the teaching of emerging writers in university creative writing programmes. This paper seeks to unpack elements of this tension by considering the ways in which teaching identities intersect with pedagogical practice, particularly around the rules which govern writing schedules and engagement with creative content making. I consider two opposing notions of creative practice – the strict, worker-like ideal versus Muse-driven, inspired artistry – to challenge some of the ‘self-evident’ tools of creative writing teaching. In particular, I look at the ubiquitous nature of the ‘write every day’ and ‘keep a journal’ mantras which have permeated both my student and teaching experiences in the academy. I argue that if we acknowledge creative writing practices as ‘personal and cultural’ then we must be wary, as creative writing instructors, of insisting on fixed notions of what a writer looks like.
Keywords: creativity; Muse; industry; inspiration
Description: Published online: 15 May 2020
Rights: © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
DOI: 10.1080/14790726.2020.1758153
Published version:
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 8
English publications

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