George [McWhirter] stressed that Creative Writing was not an academic subject. We did not study things. We made things. Before I’d met George, no one had ever told me that writing poetry was practical, but this approach demystified the creative process. I began to look at writing as a constructive, physical act. Writing became the artful arrangement of words. There was no teary-eyed emotional or mystical dimension to making better work. The words you used either worked or they didn’t. And if they did not work, there were steps that could be taken to fix them.