Just read an archived article published in a recent The Writer magazine. The topic is about writing apprenticeship. In it, the author, Jane Yolen, writes about writing as a craft, one where you “can eventually master the tools of the trade.” She likens the craft of writing to that of a potter taking the time to really learn his craft. She writes about discipline in both crafts (writing and pottery) and working at the craft continuously, “not just in leisure moments.”
Here are some excerpts that I especially like from her article: “There is continuity in the work of a craftsperson. Just as the potter uses scrap clay, unfired clay that did not respond properly to the potter’s hands, so, too, the writer uses and resuses ideas, sequences, and characters.” She goes on to write, “I no longer fear the language. I respect it.”
I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Yolen at a writer’s workshop in Boerne, Texas, a few years back. She was a true inspiration to those of us who attended. I consider that meeting one of the highlights of my writing career.
“The greatest children’s books are about the journey to wisdom.” --- Jane Yolen