I’m always suspicious of people who profess a mastery of writing. Mastery’s a very slippery term. And when you start spreading that so called mastery around as some sort of writ, rather than a possibility among a multitude of possibilities, well, it becomes a little dangerous.
Teaching writing (at least) is only ever suggesting, I hesitate to use even the term facilitator because it’s less about enabling and more about, well, suggesting. So, yes, that’s about the best descriptor I can find, and if it sounds somewhat uncertain, a little shaky even, well, that’s probably a good thing.
Suggestion is good, because it offers options.
It’s when you start stating “that this is so” and that this is how it’s done to the exclusion of other things (just as I am doing here, by the way) you drift swiftly into perilous territory.
And to say, “well, this is wrong” well then you’re heading into dangerous waters in a boat that is leaking, at an alarming rate, because so much interesting material comes from things that are regarded as wrong, and to wrap things up in a litany of wrong is to be blinded by rules to the beauty that occurs when someone gets it right.
I don’t enjoy everything and you probably don’t either.
And to teach writing I think you at least need to recognize this, otherwise you increase the likelihood of stunting the writing of someone who is getting right what you see as wrong. Which is why I believe teaching must always be approached with humility and care.
We’re all miserable failures in some way. We’re deaf to at least one, though more likely many, aspects of the human story. We’re all grasping in the dark.
If anything, teaching writing is an acknowledgement of that, and at best you can only hope to provide the tools that work for you, in the chance that they might help shine a little light in helping another writer find their way, but not so much that they are in themselves blinding.