Wild-eyed (the way I love him most), he’s off to his desk to begin his poem, not by using the metaphor-making template I’ve designed, but by inviting his reader to come fly with him… and his parrots. He writes half-standing, hopping on one foot. And within minutes he’s bounced back to my side.
When I’m teaching, it feels like I’m in an authentic place. It feels like I’m inspired; it feels like I’m a monk. The teaching reinforces the simplicity of writing. The more complex you get as a writer, you still go back to the same elemental things. A great story is always going to have characters, plot. The same things you teach kids in high school for the first time, you have to focus on as a writer. That’s one of the advantages of teaching younger kids because you’re closer to the foundation of what makes good writing.