I Laughed So Hard I Cried: Writing Comedy and Tragedy, with Rachel Smith

I’m taking a creative writing class at Stanford and it has been the most amazing experience.  I have learned so much.  Professor Rachel Smith is excellent, her lectures are insightful and well written, and she provides excellent and highly personal feedback to our work.  My classmates have been a delight and have produced exceptional work.  The class is called “I Laughed So Hard I Cried: Writing Comedy and Tragedy” and it’s not at all uncommon to be moved to laughter or tears by work from my classmates.  It’s really a very special little group and every time I think about them, I cringe at the idea of the class coming to a close.  It doesn’t seem right to make such amazing friends and then turn the page and walk away. 

Here is one of my favorite discoveries from this class: Tig Notaro, R2 Where Are You?  (15:08 minutes)  I am blown away by how powerful this kind of writing is.  I totally want to be that good one of these days.  She’s amazing, and it really gives me a goal to reach for.

I was thinking about the way one of my classmates responded to my work.  First there was encouragement, then some suggestions to address some details, then she concluded with more encouragement.  This is the ideal way to encourage a writer and I’ve seen it happen over and over again in this class, helpful real-world advice in the context of encouragement.  Others have been so complimentary about my writing voice and style that it has left me shocked and speechless.  Me?  Speechless?  Now there’s something that doesn’t happen every day!  It is amazing to be appreciated, and so specifically encouraged, and it’s amazing to receive helpful feedback and suggestions for improvement.  I am learning every time I sign in. 

I don’t want it to end.  On the other hand, once I’ve completed this class, my schedule should open up for more writing time.  Still… I don’t want it to end.  Urgh.

I have my eye on another class.

What about you?  What are you doing to hone your craft and connect to others who share your passions?  Take a step in this direction today.  In a few months you could be looking back and shaking your head in wonder at all the ways you’ve grown as a result.

Grace and Peace,

2 thoughts on “I Laughed So Hard I Cried: Writing Comedy and Tragedy, with Rachel Smith

  1. Carmen says:

    It really was wonderful and I am very pleased to have my classmates and my professor as a continuing presence on my life. I read a book a few days ago and immediately wanted to discuss it with them in terms of the principles we learned. The information and the connections are now a part of me, and that makes me feel rich indeed.


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