An interesting perspective from a character who teaches writing at a community college as seen in the novel East Pittsburgh Downlow:

Do I teach writing?

In theory, yes.

What I really teach is word collection to the few students who are willing to acknowledge their own pain and intelligence and who want to take responsibility for the horror and beauty of the world. I give these students maps and as many good books as they can carry and I send them into whatever place they want to be or the place they have to be and I tell them to come back once they have enough words for a good sentence.

Then I tell them to do it again.

from East pittsburgh downlow by dave newman