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 #15: Teach others and you will learn
When a martial artist has achieved a certain level of competency in her martial art, she begins to teach it—and discovers that this is where the true learning begins. To demonstrate the techniques and coach other students, the martial artist must become intimately familiar with the mechanics of each technique, why it’s done, and why it’s done the way it’s done. To keep ahead of her students, the teacher must always strive to learn more. When she’s asked a tough questions, she may say, “I don’t know,” but then she’ll feel compelled to find out.
Her students also bring information and challenges to her that she learns and grows from. To become a good teacher, she must discover more patience than she thought possible. She will have to demand more of herself so that she doesn’t hold her students back. And she must think on her feet constantly and creatively.
The writer must do the same. Sharing her experiences with other writers is not simply a generous impulse but also a way for her to continue to master the craft. Articulating her knowledge helps her apply it to her own work.
Taking on the role of the teacher can result in even greater mastery of craft.
What are some things you have learned from being a teacher? If you haven’t taught, where are some opportunities for this?
Dojo Wisdom for Writers, second edition, now available on Amazon in print and ebook! (Nook and other ebook versions here)
Catch a Falling Star (by Jessica Starre) and The Matchmaker Meets Her Match (by Jenny Jacobs), two of my favorite novels.
Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter on my home page! You never know when I’m going to give away random good stuff.
More by Jennifer Lawler
To go to the beginning of the California series of blog posts, click here.