Welcome new Writers’ Program instructor Naz Kutub! Naz is teaching Story and Plot (Reg# 391128) this Spring in person at UCLA. He sat down with us to offer some insight into creative life and his upcoming course.

What sparks your creativity?
I’ve been a huge fan of speculative stories from a young age, and I realize that the one question that helps me the most is ‘What if…’ These two very important words can spark the development of my most creative ideas. I couple that with not letting a single ‘No’ stop me along the way, for ultimate freedom in my ideas.

What do you rely on for those times it’s difficult to find the time, energy, motivation and/or inspiration to write?
I have a workshop that I’ve been teaching regularly that gets a lot of amazing feedback from participants. It’s called ‘How To Become An Idea Generator.’ It helps anyone – and I do mean anyone – come up with a dozen new story ideas in an hour. When I feel unmotivated, uninspired, or a bout of writer’s block, I simply rewatch the workshop, and go through the exercises on my own, which has so far proven successful in greasing up the creative cogs in my brain so they can get back to spinning again.

What’s your favorite book and/or movie?
There’s a Middle-Grade book I truly adore: The True Meaning of Smekday, by Adam Rex. It’s so clever, with the best jokes, that even adults will enjoy it!

What’s your favorite quote about writing?
You have an infinite number of words in you – don’t be afraid to lose any.

Who do you wish you could write like (or: Whose writing discipline do you wish you had)?
I wish I could be the sort of writer who could write every day. But that would burn me out, so I refuse to let myself indulge in it.

What excites you most about teaching for the Writers’ Program?
I can’t wait to see what new ideas students bring into the classroom and what they want it to blossom into by the end.

What do you hope your students get from your course(s)?
I’d love to teach future authors to realize that they don’t have just one book in them, that they can choose to write for life, if they employ the tools I’ll hand them.

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

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