Criticizing the critics

Written in response to comments in the comment streams of WordPress blogs that I’ve read today:

I call myself a writer because I write. Been doing it my whole life. It was a useful talent back in high school. Made a girl who appeared shallow and shy on the surface seem deep and pensive, thoughtful and inspired, “creative to her very fingertips,” as one teacher gushed in my yearbook.

Except for one brief statement to my sixth-grade teacher, “I am going to write a novel,” I have never for a moment aspired to be published. Furthermore, a novel will never be forthcoming because when I settled my brain after college, I trained myself to never fantasize. I learned to use the fantasy corner in my brain to rehearse reality, consider options, and plan prose that could pass for conversation.

My brain is always writing. Sometimes I write down what I have written. More often I speak what I have written. Most often I pray what I have written.

It irritates me slightly, sometimes, that “serious” writers take themselves so seriously! It’s just language. We all use it to communicate. My god – they teach it at great length in college now, and there is terminology to be brandished about, so that all will know that you are qualified to say if a story is well-told. I love to read other people’s blogs, and I mostly skim over those terms when I read them in blog comments, but tonight a couple of them got stuck in my craw: voice, and linear, and flesh-out-the-characters.

Come on, English majors! He told it well, or he didn’t. Did you like the mood he created? Did you think he was clever? Would you pay market rates for a book he might someday write? 

Gah! Some of y’all are just justifying yourselves for the 10k a year you spent on higher education.

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2 Responses to Criticizing the critics

  1. nivaladiva says:

    There is no Love button, but I love your post. 🙂

  2. anisebarboza says:

    I’ve been reading a lot of the writers here as well and there is such a wide variety of styles that I think it behooves the critics to broaden their scope. Some of these people can write very, very well and break every one of the “rules”.

    And I agree with nivaladiva, you need a “Love” button!

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