I freely admit that I took a creative writing course in college not because I thought I could write, but because I thought it would be easy. At the time I had very little interest in writing creatively. However, being a philosophy major meant that I had become somewhat adept at writing long-winded dissertations about vague ideas. Creative writing, I assumed, was the same thing, without having to be metaphysically astute. I also figured it was the perfect opportunity to utilize the Rogets Thesaurus that had been gathering dust in my room for three years (after all, wasnt creative writing just writing with the addition of fancy words?).
The course began just as I had expected: The first assignment had us writing about how we would change the world. I was so confident in my abilities that I waited until a half hour before the next weeks class before I started writing. I assumed that wed hand in our papers and then talk about what it meant to be a creative writer, maybe analyze a few examples from Dave Barry or Hunter S. Thompson.
When class started the teacher asked one of the students to stand up and read his paper. I immediately felt sweat bead up under my armpits. One by one my classmates spoke about eradicating famine and ending war, each using eloquent prose and verbal craftsmanship. I was in full panic mode not only because I barely gave any thought to what I had written, but also because I wrote about me being the omnipotent ruler of an Earth where everyone else was my slave. Luck was on my side, thankfully, because our session ended before I was called to read.
The next assignment involved writing about my greatest fear. I gave this paper a little more effort, starting it about two hours before the next class and rereading it several times in anticipation that my name would be called.