Thursday, July 12, 2007

writing wrongs

I hoard post-it notes, reminders of things to do, things to avoid. They patchwork the bony walls of my mind. A small clutch of these refer to the act of writing in itself. I recently read a passionate blogpost on the nature of comment and criticism. In the subsequent comment discussion I made the throwaway suggestion that perhaps bloggers should display a button or banner to indicate the type of comment they welcome. This discussion set some of those post-it notes aflapping, and demanding fuller attention. So now, as I share a few of my thoughts about writing, please accept this as my banner.

(DISCLAIMER - as is apparent, these thoughts come in no particular order, they do not attempt to form a cohesive manifesto regarding blog based writing. They should be read only with reference to blogs that present creative writing, not journal diary based blogs etc.)

I believe that all writing is many things. It means something to itself. It means something to its author. It means something different to each and every reader and may change drastically through time and distance. Some of the relationships between author and piece will be favourable and friendly, some not. The same goes for the meeting between reader and piece.

I write because there are words dancing within me, and I might act a little peculiarly if I don’t let them out. They dance merrily in my notebooks, but tend to spill onto the floor. If I post them here, it gives them a moment of limelight and equally allows me to choreograph them a little. I write everyday. I would write if there was a powercut. If the World Wide Web got swept away by a giant broom in the World Wide Springclean I would still write. I sometimes write for prompt based sites as an exercise for that day. However I fear that there are people who believe they are writers merely because they bounce their way from prompt to prompt through the days of the week. That’s not the life for me my friend. But I wobble on an over-oiled seesaw on this one. Part of me encourages anything that encourages people to write. But part of me despairs at wading through so much chaff to stumble upon the occasional wordy wheat. But I am happy to feast on those that I have found.

Anything I post on my blogs is considered a work in progress, because I believe nothing is ever truly finished, finalised, perfect. No-one, however esteemed, educated, famous or infamous can grant a gold seal to my writing. They can just offer comment or criticism based on their own experience, skill and interest. All comment and criticism is valued - even if it is harsh - as long as it is made thoughtfully and eloquently and with valid reference to the piece. Nothing I post on my blogs is too precious or close to my heart to stand up to criticism. If it is then I shouldn’t have posted it here. I should have left it safely sleeping in the shoebox I keep hidden under my heart.

Much of the content of my writing is inspired by my everyday life. Much of it isn’t. Hopefully I have blurred the line sufficiently that you can tell which is which. I like to light fuses to thoughts liable to offend many. But when I post I try to blanket them in folds that soften the blow. I don’t want to start wars. I don’t want to lose more friends than I already have.

A final thought on COMMENT MODERATION. When I read those words I sometimes shiver. They tend to try to anagram themselves into CENSORSHIP ENABLED. I remind myself of the necessity to curb idle advertisers and net nutters but I cant help worry that some people may use them as a filter to allow through only comments that bless and never those that bruise.

Thank you for tolerating this extended ramble, normal service will resume shortly.

1 comment:

Crafty Green Poet said...

This is a really interesting post. I take part in a lot of writing prompts because they're useful exercises. I like to share my writing with others and to read what those others are doing because many participants are writing pieces that I can relate to if not admire. As for comments and criticism, I welcome any comments on my blog, but when someone only ever makes unhelpful negative comments then it doesn't endear that person to me! Most blog prompts aim to share work, not to critique. Of course, the ensuing plethora of happy smiley comments can lead to the least of us thinking we have great futures as poets....