Welcome to the Dojo Wisdom for Writers Book Club! Every Wednesday, we meet to discuss one of the lessons in Dojo Wisdom for Writers. We’ll go in order, so it’s easy enough to follow along. Read the lesson, then read the blog post, then comment in the comments! Do feel free to comment on each other’s comments. I’ll answer questions as quickly as I can.
Lesson #1. Find a Teacher
Throughout my career, I’ve had any number of writing teachers, although only a few of them have actually been teachers in a classroom. Sometimes they have known they are mentors, sometimes not; sometimes they have served as horrible warnings rather than exemplars to imitate.
What I think it important to remember about finding a teacher is that you’re finding a teacher—someone who can offer guidance or feedback; someone who can send up flares showing you where the road is. But a teacher is not a guru or an unchallengeable authority. You are ultimately the author of your own work—and your own life and your own career. So while you need to be open to what you can learn, it’s crucial not to give over your own authority to someone else.
Some discussion questions:
1. Who has been a teacher to you?
2. How do you know when you’re right and the teacher is wrong?
3. Why do you even need a teacher?
Talk to me (and each other!) in the comments.