December 8, 2010

Why Your Idea is Better Than Mine

Posted in Ideas tagged , , at 9:45 am by Rebecca Hein

Years ago in cello teaching, I realized that I should let my students make their own discoveries. I quit offering instruction or even advice, instead waiting to observe their difficulties as they struggled to manage their own learning.

I commiserated, encouraged, and did more listening than ever before in my career. And I saw what happened when they were thus forced to rely on themselves. Insights burst upon them in their practicing and they’d arrive at their lessons so excited at what they’d taught themselves that they couldn’t wait to tell me. They never forgot their own revelations, nor failed to apply them.

So it is with your writing. I might have more experience, perhaps more confidence, and more publication credits. But I can’t put my ideas or even my best insights into your head. It would be too much like an organ transplant: it likely wouldn’t take, but more to the point, what you generate will be perfectly compatible with who you are and what you need to write.

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