Live and Let Write

Recently, I was asked to respond to a blog post by a fellow blogger. A fellow writer posed the question “which courses should I take if I want to learn how to write?” I simply shared the courses I took when I was a student at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho.

Not long after my post, a young man posted a response to my response that I found a bit disconcerting. He came back with something similar to don’t waste your hard earned money on a degree when you could get the same in late fees at the library. Obviously, this is not a direct quote.

Let’s forget first of all that there was a typo in the quote he did post. He meant to say “writer,” but he wrote “write,” so instantly he lost credibility with me.  It’s not that I haven’t made errors—big ones. But if you’re going to argue for or against a cause, double check your words.

Let’s also forget that he didn’t cite where he lifted the quote from. He took it from the movie Good Will Hunting, which I love. As a matter of fact, it happens to be one of my all time favorites. I’ve seen it numerous times, and I have shown it in the classes I teach.


Basically, the quote is from the scene where Will takes the graduate student aside and chides him for his “overpriced degree” when all he really needs is to read a slew of books from the library. And, if the young man who responded to my post would have gotten the point of Good Will Hunting, the story, that is, it was that Will needed other people. That his reading all of those books in isolation didn’t allow him to grow.

In summation, the blog poster was either trying to be a complete smart ass or was just plain ill-informed. I am hoping for the latter.

If you want to be a writer, take any path you wish.


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