Well, we had a snow day Friday, and I promptly fell victim to the cold my husband has been fighting for the past week. I spent Saturday/Sunday sleeping, for the most part. I apologize for the lapse!
My appearance at UCA has been rescheduled for this Thursday, 3/13/08, which makes me happy. I really do love getting out and talking to other writers/readers.
On NPR this afternoon, during a discussion of the current candidates for the presidency, one of the guests talked about expertise, given how much air time the topic is getting for the candidates. This is what stuck with me. He cited several studies that apparently show that it takes ten years to acquire any kind of expertise in say chess, baseball, etc. Two things came to mind at almost the same time: teaching and writing. I've been teaching since the fall of 1999, and I think the 10-year rule is bearing itself out there for sure. In fact, it might be more like 20 for me. I'm only beginning to feel sturdy in my approach to teaching composition, lit, and creative writing.
Writing is a bit more difficult to age. I've been writing my whole life, so do I just count the years since my MFA program? Probably. It's when I learned how to make writing a serious part of my life and to pursue publication. Does having published a book make me an expert? I'm not so sure of that, either. It certainly has taught me a lot about perseverance and the business side of writing; however, every time I sit down to start a new poem, I sometimes think I'm starting from scratch with the blank page.