I learned nothing in school. That’s an exaggeration, but not by much. I was an average student. I never had a teacher I admired, or even particularly liked. I did not and do not consider school to be a particularly effective place to learn. I could memorize a set of words or facts long enough to pass a test, but that’s not learning. I could sit passively in class while the teacher either pounded me or put me to sleep with his or her daily, formulaic lesson plan. That’s not learning.
The rote and didactic methods of teaching never worked on me. I’m an experiential learner. I learn through the experience I gain by doing. I’m an experiential writer. I’ve learned to write by writing, not by taking classes, workshops, or seminars. Maybe that works for some writers, but not for me. If I had all that crap rattling around in my head I would never get the first word down on paper. Talk about mental constipation.
Here’s the thing-you can teach, discuss, lecture, bitch, and moan about writing all day long, but it doesn’t mean a thing. It’s a waste of time and energy, and if you’re not careful it will suck the joy out of your writing. Your muse will disappear faster than a time share salesman with a certified check.
If you’re not writing, you’re not creating anything new. If you’re not writing, you’re not learning and getting better. So write.