On Thursday I start teaching the personal essay course at UCLA Extension's annual Writers Studio. Boot camp for essayists, 10:00 am to 6:00 everyday for four days. I'm excited about the subject, the students who are coming, and the take-no-prisoners attitude of the whole Studio experience.
Here's the thing about writing personal essays: they never ever stop being a challenge. I'm writing one of my own now for an anthology and last week I was so stuck I thought my head would blow off. I went around the house moaning and boring everyone to death with my little speeches about how hard writing is. But I kept writing, I kept at that essay until I broke it down and figured out what it was about. Finally. And the thrill of that, figuring out what you're writing about and how to do it, never ceases to be exciting and astonishing.
If you're in my essay class at the Studio don't be frightened about the intensity. Cookies are served at 3:00 every afternoon, and the Writers' Program takes wonderful care of you.