Oct 052012

Many of you know me as “the Shredder,” but there is another side of me as a teacher captured here by Calgary writer Jacquie Moore who was assigned to interview me in the run-up to my Wordfest class next week. 🙂


Along with myriad writing tips, one of the best reasons to take Glover’s class is for this compassionate brand of pep talk for fearful writers. “I worry about a lot of these words like ‘procrastination’ and ‘writer’s block’ and all that crap. I’m very sympathetic to people who want to write something and are daunted by it,” he says. I tell him I’ve written approximately one paragraph of my novel in four years. He is unfazed. “That’s not a sign of weakness. There are all sorts of very good reasons for taking one’s time to get at it,” he says. “We should all give ourselves a break.”

This is the kind of gentle writing advice that has the potential to unclog my perpetual writer’s block—or rather, to get me thinking about it differently. In all seriousness, there are some pretty good reasons for why I haven’t gotten at it yet. For one thing, it’s painful to write about my own family—fictionalized or not. For another, I worry that my dad, who has generously answered all my probing questions about his life, might not be comfortable with me going public with the family history, albeit in lightly disguised form—an impulse Glover assures me is moral and admirable although here I go again envisioning myself with a bestseller rather than writing for writing’s sake. He encourages me to let go of my paralyzingly big idea and submit a vignette-sized piece to his excellent online magazine Numéro Cinq, comfortingly described as “a warm place on a cruel web.”

via The Calgary Herald, The Book in the Basement.

  One Response to “Douglas Glover: The Compassionate Writing Teacher — Jacquie Moore @The Calgary Herald”

  1. Well….ok sometimes you have to be the shredder in order to force your students to give their all, but I would say this is a lovely and accurate description of you as a mentor.

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