I’ve been taking a class at ICC called The Craft of Food Writing with the infamous Alan Richman. We are nearing our last class and today was my private one-on-one critique session. I’m typically quite confident in class but I admit I was nervous going into his office.
Rightfully so. The one or two of you who read this blog lately have probably noticed how little I have been writing, and you may also have noticed how I’ve been skimming over subjects instead of going into detail. My writing group certainly notices, and so, of course, did Mr. Richman. Ouch. Truth hurts. And, anyone familiar with his particular brand of curmudgeonly charm in his restaurant reviews will have a sense of what his review of my latest assignment sounded like. Again, ouch.
Wouldn’t have been so bad if he wasn’t so right! I raced through the assignment between doubles at work, other classes and life’s many distractions. Not my best work. Certainly not submission quality. I deserved the response I got.
Then, something wonderful happened – something that will stick with me as one of the most generous things a teacher has ever done for me. To teach me to write real, vivid descriptions (they’re there, just need some coaxing and confidence to surface), he took me for a walk around the block…