Applying the rules of art to writing: not every graduate becomes an artist

“Not every art school graduate becomes a successful artist. But the training one receives in art school opens avenues to the whole world. Art school teaches one to observe carefully, describe precisely, find solutions to problems through experimentation, keep an open mind to all possibilities, and to accept withering critique in the pursuit of the not yet realized. These are the skills of adventurers, visionaries and builders of a future we cannot yet fathom.”
Excerpt from ‘101 Things to Learn in Art School’ by Kit White

That sounds like a writing class!

Can creative writing be taught? Yes, the tools can be taught. Plot, structure, characterization, point of view, imagery. A teacher can encourage experimentation so a student explores the different forms, a teacher can emphasize that the best way for a student to learn to write is to read good writers. Amazingly, many don’t read and a large percentage don’t finish the novel they started.

It seems that what can’t be taught is the persistence, the perseverance, the sheer doggedness you need to get to the end of a draft, and the second and the third.

Kit White


My creative writing teacher, Shelley Weiner [above] has just published Writing your First Novel: a 60-minute Masterclass [pub. The Guardian]. Click here to order the e-book.
Click here to visit Shelley’s website.
Click here to hear Shelley talk about writing, teaching, curiosity and tenacity….

Kit White


‘101 Things to Learn in Art School’ by Kit White [MIT Press] Buy now

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Not every graduate becomes an artist: applying the rules of #art to #writing via @SandraDanby