To be fair, my creative writing students were much better on Wednesday than they were on Monday. I'd still complain that most of them haven't really tried to apply the principles & ideas & techniques we've looked at in example texts & that we've discussed in workshop to their own writing. A few have begun to do that, perhaps -- something that comes out much more in conferences than in workshop sessions. For a few of these better students I may have gotten them to point where they can imagine a relationship to a reader. I think that's part of the "aesthetic distance" I was talking about in the previous post. (Writers who say they "write only for themselves" are either beginners or pros who have so internalized the basic needs of a reader that they have forgotten them.) The failure to internalize the habits (Bordieu) of literary writing is not a matter of intelligence or even talent with my students; rather, I suspect it is a belief about the imagination. Or about "creativity" as it is usually conceptualized in current culture. According to this view, imagination needs no limits or techniques, but only expression.