Welcome new Writers’ Program instructor, David Groff! David is teaching a new one-day course this Summer, From Writer to Author: A Roadmap to Publication, and sat down with us to offer some insight into creative life and his upcoming course.

What sparks your creativity?
I am inspired by deadlines and the people behind them. Whether I’m writing a new poem, working on an essay, or editing or consulting on a writer’s manuscript, I like how my attentions are concentrated by the knowledge that I have readers waiting for my words. I love the conversation between writer and reader. Creating that conversation excites me as a writer, reader, and editor.

What do you rely on for those times it’s difficult to find the time, energy, motivation and/or inspiration to work?
When we get daunted or discourage, we can remind ourselves that writing is not an act of self-expression but an act of communication. (Self-expression is for diaries, and communication is for creative professionals interested in making art and connecting with others.) Then we can re-rouse ourselves into the excitement of bringing the life of our work into the world. Sure, it can seem massively intimidating to imagine executing and finishing a piece of creative work, but if we take it step by step, doing the next right thing—the right sentence, the right paragraph—then we’ll find ourselves creating before we realize we’re doing it. Also, it helps to nap.

What’s your favorite quote about writing/editing?
“Hidden talent counts for nothing.” — Sandra Cisneros

“We work in the dark – we do what we can – we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.” ? Henry James

What excites you most about teaching for the Writers’ Program?
Writing is a solitary process. It can be hard to wake up every morning to encounter the blank page or blinking screen. But our work comes alive when we share it with others.  As an editor committed to helping the writer engage with the reader, I relish the chance to help emerging authors chart the path that will lead them to their readers. This class is an enactment of part of my own personal mission as writer, editor, and teacher: to help engender resonant words.

What do you hope your students get from your course(s)?
I want my students to leave the course feeling like captains of their own fate, empowered as entrepreneurs to determine their own path through a changing publishing landscape and to build a readership for their writing.

Thank you to David for taking time to share with us. Look for more instructor interviews coming soon!


Bree is the Assistant to the Director and Social Media Coordinator. You can email her at btodish@uclaextension.edu.

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