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Program Notes (please read)

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by jgmacg, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    We've had a couple of instances in the last few weeks where folks have posted work other than their own for assessment. This has been done with all good intention, I believe, and in the spirit of healthy argument and writerly improvement.

    But I've become uncomfortable with the posting of work other than our own, especially in the instances where that work is A) easily Googleable for a byline and B) clearly meant as a negative - or even questionable - example. It leaves the unwitting original writer defenseless and voiceless in the argument, and too easily identified.

    We'll certainly continue to discuss the work of those public titans we admire (or decry), and those of such stature that our little arguments over mechanics and lyrics can't hurt or offend them. Mailer and Updike don't much care what we say about them. But I've come to believe it's unfair to post - even if the discussion remains civil - the work of some young, inexperienced and unsuspecting third party.

  2. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Re: A Program Note (please read)

    I'll be very busy through the winter and spring of 2008 finishing a book, and probably won't be around here as much as I'd like. Thus, I'll remind our workshoppers that the best way to get a good reading is to give a good reading. So please plunge in with civil, constructive interpretations of others' work. Becoming a better reader is a major step in becoming a better writer.

  3. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    I hope this finds you - whoever and wherever you are - well and thriving and writing as if your life depended on it.

    There's a lot of good information on these threads about writing and craft and about living a writer's life - and about what those things can come to mean. Drill down through any of these threads and you're likely to find the answer to your question; or to find at least some kindred spirit trying to find those same answers. Though we work mostly in solitude, we're not alone. Please remember that.

    To get a reading, give a reading. Be thoughtful and constructive. Be good to one another.

    And be good to yourselves.

    I'm going to be gone for a while working, so won't be handy for PMs, edits or consultations. But I'm confident that you'll find other, better readers in the meantime. At the end of things the only reader, the only critic, in whom you must have utter faith is yourself.

    Before I go, here are two answers that cover 98% of the questions I've ever been asked about what we do:

    1) Read more.

    2) Write fearlessly.

    Good luck.
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