To Teach is to Learn Twice

I'm a logical soul.  Yes, I have bouts of irrational behavior just like the rest of humanity.  But in general I find comfort in rationale.  I will believe something because I've argued all the cons in my head and tried to poke holes in it.

So it's really no wonder that I enjoy teaching the violin so much.  On a daily basis it forces me to rethink and challenge and question everything I know about the instrument.  And after teaching the instrument for nearly seven years I've found that the saying really is true.  "To teach is to learn twice."  I was never attentive to musical details as a student.  Frankly, I didn't care.  But trying to instill artistry in young children has made me care.  I am forced to set the bar high or they will have nothing to aim for.

Interestingly enough, this same principle is now starting to trickle over into my writing.  I started a beta reading service about two years ago.  I had been offering basic reviews since 2010.  However, the beta reading forced me to take that to the next step.  I had to really think about all the little details that was making the story work or not work for me.  Was it the characters?  The dialogue?  The pacing?  All those little things that I had previously glossed over in my own writing now stood out as blaring errors.

Is this making me a better writer?  I'm not sure.  I hope it is.  But it is certainly making me a more attentive writer and that, I believe, is a solid step in the right direction.


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