January 17, 2011

Reading is Writing

‘Everywhere I go I am asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. There's many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.’
-Flannery O'Connor

When I began researching literary publications I would turn to read the author bios. It was MFA this and MFA that. I prefer the funny bios, and think mentioning higher education to be showy. I often wonder how I know how to write at all, given that high school classes are a blur and the college courses eighteen years after have been brief in discussing craft components. Reading is writing, or this is how I primarily learned to write - things that are interesting to me, and sometimes others. Of course, everything helps - classes, workshops, discussions with writers, books on writing. But, I do think too much academic study on the craft can quash one's voice or vision.

My first publication bio reads: Julie McArthur lives and writes in Parkdale with her three kids/cats, Annabelle (Superbubs), Harold and Mona. I couldn't resist the chance to immortalize my cats. Still working on a clever biography.

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