Some of you have asked why I’ve turned the comments section off on the main part of the website. The reason is that I want these posts to stand alone and not be open to discourse. I feel that once any post becomes fodder for banter between people that the original posts loses some of its heart. That’s not to say, however, that I’m opposed to feedback and I thank those of you who take the time to tell me what you think.
If I’m looking for direct feedback, then I’ll typically send a few of you something I’ve written. If one of these little gems or lumps of coal find their way into your mailbox, then I’m pretty much demanding that you share your thoughts. I didn’t dip my feet into fiction writing to be ostracized by my friends; I want you to actually respond. If all you have to say is “I read your piece today. Good luck with your future in sanitation,” then at least I know you’ve received it.
Writing fiction for me makes me quite queasy. With every sentence I put down I worry that I’m being trite or clichéd. I worry that the words are too sparse and the reader won’t get a “feel” for what I’m saying. When I finally wrap it up, usually all five undeveloped paragraphs of it, and send it out I head straight to the restroom to get sick. The minutes tick into hours and I wait for the responses. Jonathan is always the first to say something positive; he’s the one who encourages me (blame him) and the most likely to make suggestions. Jonathan excels at fiction writing, so I always value his comments. Kendra usually follows up with something equally positive, but Kendra knows she’d support me if I wrote, “Johnny got an apple. Johnny put the apple in his pocket. Johnny enjoyed a snack later.” (Another fine story; I’m keeping this post for future writing inspiration.) Basically, I’m saying that my good friends always support my efforts and I support theirs. Still, there’s a small percentage (let’s just call it ONE person) that receive the stories and say nothing.
The lack of response leaves me wondering – was it really THAT bad? I mean, it was flawed and underdeveloped sure, but bad enough that I’ve rendered someone speechless? Bad enough they can’t come up with a “non” comment like “I got your story and it looks like you made use of many sentences. The punctuation was well done and helped me break down the thoughts. It didn’t read like a run-on sentence.”
I see writing and review as a give and take relationship between your friends. If you write something and have the courage to send it out, I will review it and let you know what I think. I probably won’t be as harsh as I would be on certain authors who go by the name Dan Brown, but you’ll know I’ve at least read it. In turn, I expect you to read what I write since I’ve prostrated myself before you and I expect that you let me know you’ve read it. In turn, if you’ve had me read something YOU wrote and I’ve acknowledged it, but don’t return the favor, then the gloves are off. May the muses protect you because I’ve got a “blog”.