Reply To: Terminal discouragement?

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Regarding this point:

this would seem to suggest that all the stuff he mentions in the first para, all the work we do to improve our writing, all the hanging out we do in places like the Den and, yes, Jericho Wtiters too, is a waste of time.

I’ve not seen the writeup so I don’t know if there’s any more? Is there a link to it or is it members-only? If that’s the whole of it, then to me it’s honestly a bit of a whine but if there’s more – and if it aligns with what I think – then maybe doing only the above might be what results in a case of universal workshop style. Question: what’s missing?

I would venture: voice, personality, uniqueness. I can’t point to any particular example of something that has been bleached with too much workshopping because I don’t happen to have anything in front of me, but I wonder if only sticking to workshop guidelines could tend to yield that kind of style. But personality’s a hard thing to measure, much less deliver in a one-hour class and knock out in an afternoon’s writing. It’s built up over the yonks. That, to me, is why this craft is kind of a soul-searching exercise as much as a simple function of time and effort. Putting yourself to the page like that, expunging your own inner stuff via your characters or narration or what-have-you, is in my view what gives a piece its own special flavour. A blog on that would be very interesting.

Then of course there’s the social apsect of writing sites, which give you encouragement, community, friends. And with that being free of charge as we know, it’s nonetheless worth a very great deal, as I see it.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by Jonathan. Reason: Hah I just pretty much repeat what you say in the post right before mine!