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Friday, May 18, 2018

Be My Guest (But remember you're my guest)

T shirt available at:
https://teespring.com/shop/new-social-justice-bard#pid=2&cid=2122&sid=front
I have two running thoughts today. One slightly less mature than the other.

Slightly.

After I spent several hours modding yesterday's post and dealt with no small number of private messages pontificating the quality of my character, intelligence, and education, something really nice happened. One of those things that kind of sort of makes it all worth it.

Someone told me they really appreciated how reasonable people were on my page.

Well...people aren't really "reasonable" on my page. Some are. They're awesome. Some are not. And I go through and erase their comments. What looks at first like a reasonable comment section is actually a couple of hours of moderating, cleaning out comments that break our commenting policy in some way, and banning the people who crossed the line egregiously.

But still it was nice to hear....


First a personal story (a bit long):

I used to debate social issues. Hard. I loved a good debate. I thought open and free debate was how we were going to "GET SOMEWHERE."

My spaces were more about civility and respect and free exchange of ideas and I was very proud of not being too coupled with either "side" but an impartial arbiter of "both sides" as problematic in their own ways. I remained above it all. Of course I cared about equality, but arguments had to be good (thus bad arguments had to be picked apart) and civil, respectful conversations were vital.

Here's what I noticed though. While I would find arguments that survived the crucible of debate and let them change my world view, most people around me returned to their "home position" at the end of each encounter. Instead of "oh yes, okay we've cleared up that gender inequality IS a thing" it would be like "But can you PROVE we need feminism?" all over again.

And I would think "Jesus I just saw you get into this until you had absolutely had to capitulate this point like AN HOUR AGO." Or "how come every single time you get to the exact same point about this issue you suddenly have pressing business and disappear like a ninja with a smoke pellet only to return the next thread with your 'healthy skepticism' completely replenished like a stamina bar in a fighting game."

I would see the fallacy patrol try to call out fallacies like whack-a-mole but ignore their own. They would use metonymy left and right but then invoke semantics as "crucial critical thinking" when NotALLMen was on the line. I would see anyone who had something to say held to an impossible standard of tu quoque. I would see fallacies of relative privation. And people didn't say "Oh yes, my bad. Poor critical thinking on my part," when called on it. They just got angrier. Like they were the only ones allowed to point out (often incorrectly) a fallacy.

I would see people become the nuance brigade, but their nuance only worked one way. It only got to apply to the poor maligned misunderstood status quo and its defenders. The nuance of how that status quo was hurting people who weren't cishet white men was cheerfully ignored (usually in favor of another "reset to square one" debate). The nuance of invisible cultural forces was scoffed at.

And it was always that you had to convince them. Fucking ALWAYS. Calmly. Gently. (EVER so gently.) With whatever level of intellectual rigor they felt like applying. They never had to convince you that inequality WASN'T a thing. (Think about that for just a second.) No matter how many times you proved something, it would be a claim that required evidence (again) the next time round. Because they never saw the irony of getting to define what could and couldn't be asserted without evidence and then demanding people convince them of the truth of their own oppression.

And that didn't happen once or twice or with that one guy. It was pervasive. Constant. Ubiquitous. Not the slow change of percolating ideas that maybe isn't as fast as a thread of angry people would like it to be in the heat of the moment, but literally NO CHANGE week after week, month after month. Just debate. Debate for the sake of debating. The same debate over and over. Endlessly rehashing the same tired arguments like this time they are a refreshing take that no one has ever encountered.

And everyone HAD to debate them. HAD TO. No one was allowed to say, "Look I don't feel like having this conversation again," or they were "unable to prove your point." And you couldn't ask them to leave you alone or find a space in which certain assumptions about inequality were considered non-debatable or you were "stifling their free speech." And if you asked them to step out of any thread that piqued their interest to do some intellectual due diligence and catch up to the level of the conversation or Google a basic concept themselves or to just to posit questions in better faith, you were kicking to the curb a poor, pupil of humanity whose only desire was to learn.

And it wasn't actually "most people" doing this well-known song and dance. It was most people WHO WERE DEBATING FOR THE STATUS QUO. The "I prefer humanism over feminism" or "do we KNOW that was racism, tho?" crowds. It was the people who thought rage at bathroom bills wasn't ANY different than transphobia itself or who are willing to give open, naked bigotry a pass because of some pretzel twisted nuance that might might might might make it anything else. It was the people who valued their objectivity over taking a moral stance. The status quo defenders. They were the ones that seemed to "reset" every damned time they approached a topic and treated everything as debatable and the debate itself as an entitlement.

People weren't debating to get to truth. They weren't asking questions out of sincere curiosity. They certainly didn't want a clearer understanding or increased empathy of what other humans were going through and how they experienced the world.

They were debating to win

They were debating because it was a fun intellectual diversion that didn't affect them. The most generous thing to be said is that maybe they were debating to show off their spectacular brains. But over time in broad patterns, really, they were debating to grind the debate itself and the willpower of anyone challenging the status quo into powder. It's the intellectual equivalent of running out the clock (since you're already in the lead). So that these conversations would be silenced and the world could go back to how it was–unfair in a way they swore up and down they cared deeply about, but with no specific injustice they were willing to actually challenge or even believe was real.

We weren't "GETTING SOMEWHERE." It was more like phone calls with customer service. ("Have you tried calling it 'equalism' and claiming they're being irrational?") and every debate was a fresh new phone call with a new representative that goes right up to the top of the flow chart. ("Have you tried shaming them for being ridiculous?")

These debates weren't conversations, explorations, empathetic exchanges. They were problems to be solved. ("Oh you are using the Sicilian opener. Naturally you will expect me to defend with Capa Ferro.") They were obstacles to be overcome. Opponents to be defeated.

It's a very singular definition of "civility" or "respect" to demand it shape and mold the behavior that is acceptable within the scope of a debate, but to have absolutely zero intention of letting that debate actually affect you beyond its own borders. To treat these issues if they are NO MORE THAN an intellectual contest to be won.

I grew tired of debate for debate's sake because of this. I want to write (a not insignificant time sink). I want people on my page to feel safe and not feel like their humanity is the subject of an ever resetting intellectual exercise. If someone approaches in good faith, they give off "tells," even over text media, and I have a teacher's patience when someone cares to learn. But I'm tired of bad faith actors and the damage they do.

It's not that no one EVER learns or debating is always useless in every space. (I still end up in one from time to time.) Adversarial argumentation forms the backbone of our legal system and skepticism is crucial to science. All this stuff has its place. And in any given debate, the audience may be learning more than anyone involved. This is all good stuff. But it doesn't have to happen everywhere all the time. The main reason I stopped hosting these kinds of debates in my own space is because most of them AREN'T REALLY DEBATES.

What they are is scripts. Complicated dances where everyone knows the steps to counter their "opponent's" moves. That's why they reset. Because they have to or they don't work. "Now back to  the beginning of the song–from the top." Because they are absolutely intended to counterpoint the debate rather than develop a more meaningful connection with another human or establish a more intellectually rigorous narrative, and whether intended or not, they maintain various forms of oppression and even strengthen them by attrition. The people debating so rarely allow for the possibility of real change.

I can think of few things less civil or respectful.

And that is why comments have been, are, and always will be moderated in my space. You or your comment might disappear if you can't follow the commenting guidelines. Sometimes a Bard will match wits all night long and into the morning light, but he knows to just pull out the fireball and rapier when a troll shows up.

And then there's this. 


Because some days, especially after days like yesterday, I just go where the muse points me.

"Dudebros, SQuiDs, Sea Lions and JAQoffs, it is with deepest pride
And greatest pleasure that we welcome you tonight
And now we invite you to relax, let us pull up a chair
As Writing About Writing's Facebook page proudly presents
Your banning!”

Be....
my....
Guest
be my guest
Put my modding to the test
Tell me "fuck this social justice stuff"
And I will do the rest.


News du jour, hottest take
Trot out all your boilerplates
Try discussion, it's delicious
But "ta-ta" if you're pernicious

You are welcome to engage
But remember it's MY page
And the comments here won't be the wild west
Feel free to find a venue
That likes fights, and then you'll
Be their guest, oui THEIR guest
Not MY guest

Linguistic jokes every day
Quotations authors have to say
I'll prepare and serve with flair
The memes of writing every day.

I'm progressive; don't be scared
Your scroll wheel finger came prepared
But if you're hostile while complaining
I'll make sure you're not so draining

We post comics, Tumblr Pics
So my blog will get some clicks
But I won't not care for justice you can bet

Try not to show your ass
Or it's a one way pass
To NOT my guest
~If you're stressed
The unfollow button we suggest~
Or "ban" pressed, no protest, be my guest

Life is so irritating
For a white dude not bloviating
He's not whole without a soul to splain upon
Ah, those good old days of hegemony
Suddenly those good old days are gone

Too long we've been debating
Thinking outshouting was "checkmating"
Claiming FREEZE PEACH if any space told us to shush
Most "debates" were just silencing non cis white dudes
This comment policy's not hazy.
You got banned. Oh oops-a-daisy!

You're my guest. You're my guest.
But this is not debate contest.
Lose the sword cause fuck me Lord
I'll click on "ban" to be less stressed.

Yes I make a buck or three
But this page is still for me
Feel free to witness my soft-shoein'
But for assholes I'm "adieu"-ing
You think you're clever, but you're not
I hear your argument a LOT
After the hundredth or so time, I'm not impressed
I made your comment ghost!
So next time read the post?
Don't be a pest. Or I'll divest.
Of you–my guest

Be my guest, enjoy a jest
But don't punch down to the oppressed
Like a million people follow my page here
And they're the BEST.

But if my content doesn't please
I can't take time to appease
If your choler won't stop flowing
I will help you with your going

Post by post, pun by pun
Banning bigots til I'm done
I don't mind telling you I do it with some zest.
So if you want to rage
Please find another page
I'll ban if pressed
You may have guessed
I don't detest.
Please, be my guest.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Words Fucking Matter

We interrupt your regularly scheduled mailbox to remind you that words have power and the way world leaders use them very often telegraph what they will try to do next.

"Animals," he called them, as if they were not humans in need of some empathy and compassion.

We've passed a lot of rubicon moments in the last couple of years where the general support of this administration and Trump by rank and file conservatives has belied if not a secret burning support for the open, naked racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and transphobia he spews and the white nationalism and the nazis marching in the street (and the, and the, and the.....), at least a deafening, conspicuous silence that standing up against these things is not nearly as important as the next tax break for the wealthy or pointing fingers or blaming those who do stand up against them for being "just as bad."

Trump got elected despite a history of racism, misogyny, and outright bigotry (a history of spectacularly misogynistic comments, the Central Park 5, not renting his properties to Black folks, treating Black employees differently, revolting levels of birtherism, insisting that Black people have a marked advantage, claiming Indian crime was well documented [a lie] when his casinos were in competition,  accusing Native Americans of faking their ancestry, calling the Venezuelan Miss Universe "Miss Housekeeping," his comments on Mexicans as rapists, his comments that an American judge of Mexican ancestry could never be impartial, tacitly encouraging violence against a Black Lives Matter protestor, refusing to condemn white nationalists who campaigned for him, attacking the Khan's with vicious stereotypes, outright lying about crime statistics in urban [read: Black] areas, taking a day to figure out if he wanted that David Duke endorsement, breathtaking ableism, misogynistic attacks on women, multiple rape allegations, retweeting white supremacists without retraction or apology on the regular including blatant antisemitism, and horrifying comments about assaulting women from his own lips). For many, this election itself was a betrayal–the last straw. People may have had their bigotry in an "economic anxiety"-shaped container, but they endorsed, cheered, funded, voted for, and handed power to a wanton bigot. And largely the the conversation that has ensued since has been almost exclusively white Trump supporters with increasing volume demanding empathy for their raison d'ĂȘtre, and the Americans they threw under the bus pointing out (repeatedly) that the fact that they backed him makes them complicit–a inculpation they are very, very uncomfortable with.

That is, of course, when they're not saying "We won. Get over it." Because that's apparently the other way to get bridges built towards you.

And since Trump's election, the claims that his bigotry was merely blustery showmanship and it could never happen here that someone could be so bad have been put to the lie. If anything it was all his OTHER claims that turned out to be a bunch of bullshit. The promise of all those jobs have evaporated. No one talks about infrastructure anymore. The tax cut didn't help the people Republicans pinky swore it would help. Trump was extraordinarily hands off about policy initiatives that Congress tried to tackle. In fact, the only thing he really went after with gusto was his bigoted policies.

Pay attention. Because when people with power signal over and over again explicitly what they really care about, it's a pretty good bet they're telegraphing what they're going to do.

He got right to work on his Islamaphobic ban. He has appointed a cabinet of people with histories of overt racism. He hired few women and even fewer people of color for positions in his administration. He denied that his campaign rhetoric could have had anything to do with the sharp up-spike in hate crimes immediately following the election. He called for a transgender military ban. He called two people who beat up a Latino man and cited his anti-immigration as the reason "passionate." He called Senator Warren "Pocahontas." He said Haitians all had AIDS and included them in a comment about a number of "shithole" countries. He called Puerto Ricans "politically motivated ingrates," for deigning to want more assistance getting their power back on. He hired a senior editor of a publication that espoused white nationalism to be a a key member of his staff. He campaigned directly for Ray Moore. He pardoned Joe Arpaio. He called white nationalists and literal Nazis "very good people." He regularly criticizes the first amendment demonstrations when the people doing them are Black.

So there have been a lot of "last straws." There have been a lot of Rubicons. There have been a lot of points where the folks feeling the wheels of the bus they were thrown under crush them have (justifiably) said, "This is absolutely IT! I don't care about your uncle with the 'good heart' who just wants his coal job back. If you support this guy still, you are the worst sort of bigot–it doesn't matter if you personally feel that hate in your heart. You are culpable. You are complicit. You are responsible. And I do not care to know the reasons you have told yourself so that you can tuck your supremacy in at night with an untroubled conscience that your financial well being comes at the expense of my being treated as human."

And yet....when I saw the news this morning, my blood ran cold. Perhaps colder than ever before. "Animals," he called them. Without the slightest hint of statesmanship or leadership or empathy or compassion. With not a trace of understanding what sort of heinous conditions it takes to get someone to migrate thousands of miles from their homes to a place they know they're probably going to be treated like unwelcome shit.

And of course, there are still people falling down into the mud in a screaming tantrum that Trump is not being given sufficient benefit of the doubt. That every item on this laundry list is simply one more completely misconstrued attack by the liberal media with a perfectly reasonable explanation (if you would just listen...). That's simply the world we live in. Donald Trump is "the least racist person you'll ever meet." Right along with Paula Dean, Hulk Hogan, Steve Alford, Donald Sterling, and the KKK (who just want to end the white genocide, doncha know.) They will no doubt claim that this quote is purely about M13.

Through all of this, as Trump faces one constitutional crisis after another, he undermines the foundations of modern democracy like a free press and separation of powers because they make him feel bad, he Tweetingly dismisses a massive and growing body of evidence that there was collusion at at least some level of his campaign, blows off brazen global economic conflicts of interest possibly including mob ties, is embroiled in a new scandal every week, assumes a bellicose posture with the entire world, tanks years of diplomacy and moderate policy chiefly because he wants to shit in every sand castle Obama built, we tip further towards a moment that historians, political scientists, people who lived through Europe in the 40's, people who live under totalitarian regimes, people who study totalitarian regimes, and literally almost every world leader who isn't the head of a totalitarian regime is warning us might be the point of no return.

But perhaps more alarmingly, as Trump begins to checkmark more and more ticky boxes next to the "List of Things that Make a Government Fascist™," many have noted that the role of "scapegoat" in our unfolding drama––the scapegoat that is so vital to the fascist persecution complex––is being played first and foremost by "immigrants." He has attacked them early and often (unless they're from Scandinavia...for some unknown reason...gee whiz what could it possibly be)–probably because it plays better than the underlying racism that's driving it.

And he just called them "animals."

Here are the exact words, so that no one can claim that one word was taken out of context:

Sherrif Mims: "Thank you. There could be an MS-13 member I know about — if they don’t reach a certain threshold, I cannot tell ICE about it."

Trump: “We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — we’re stopping a lot of them,” Mr. Trump said. “You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people, these are animals, and we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before.”

There's no mention of M13 in this thought, which is absolutely directly references "people coming into the country" not, specifically, gang members. There's no call back to the prior statement. There's no connective tissue to what Mims said that indicates this is some kind of response. Of course there might might might be enough leeway for plausible denial since M13 was part of the prior statement (because isn't there always plausible deniability when it comes to slipping the accusations of racism?), but there's almost certainly not going to be a correction or an apology. But it doesn't even actually make a whole lot of sense as a response.

He didn't say "animals" was how these immigrants looked or how they were treated by the people with transportation who are basically guilty of extortion. He didn't say it was the demeanor they carried after a long journey in hellish conditions and the malnutrition and dehydration and illness. Even if it weren't absurd to claim that gang members aren't human, this isn't the first time Trump has shell gamed things in just this way. This is just a really high profile situation.  He regularly suggests that Immigrants= M13= animals/thugs/criminals= totally justified immigration policy. M13 is largely not even what Trump says they are. They are just a good boogyman with exclusively central American recruitment.

Trump also seems to have no trouble making his language is perfectly precise and careful when he's making sure we know that white shooters are troubled or that the murderous rampages of white supremacists can't be tied to the bigger group or that groups of Nazis and white supremacists contain very fine people, and he has NEVER called those gang members animals. And the backdrop of his increasingly brutal immigration policies and racism push defending this as being JUST about M13 into a weird realm of cognitive dissonance that seems to insist that neither the actual quote or the broader context is allowed to matter.

This "out" exists only in this linguistically vague spot where there wasn't 100% clarity but since it's possible that he was speaking in brutal, dehumanizing terms about gang members, it's totally okay. (No doubt people will still cling to that like a palm tree in a hurricane.)

He dis-acknowledged their humanity. And whether or not he meant to tie it to a broader group, he absolutely meant to tie it to a broader group.

Scapegoating immigrants is not a new tactic of the Trump administration. There is hardly a right wing populist movement that hasn't done so in the last two hundred years. The specter of someone who is simultaneously lazy but also stealing your job allows people to be xenophobic without being outright racist since that tends to play a little better post WWII (even though there's usually a pretty obvious pattern in who the "right" kind of immigrants and the "bad" immigrants are). However, painting people as inhuman, and deliberately choosing the words that dehumanize them, is the first part of a complicated answer to every kid who ever raised their hand a la "The Wave" and asked their history teacher how "they" could possibly ever let such a thing happen.

Part of the answer is words. WORDS MATTER! You don't get to be a writer and then turn around and play like words don't have any real power. You don't get to say that words can only "offend" when they are the rationalization, the mobilization, and the defense of actual institutional harm. You don't get to understand the history and power of language and then suggest that unless the sound waves are ripping off flesh like a comic book mutant, words can't possibly cause actual hurt to anyone.

Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me perpetuate my societal othering and encourage casual "debate" about my humanity and frame me as less than human and disparage me until people stop caring about the hate crimes and stop asking questions about the disappearances and look the other way when the rumors of atrocities begin to surface.

Words. Fucking. Matter.

The first step to creating a scapegoat is to name them and blame them, and the second step is to dehumanize them. I know that I would only be accused of the worst alarmist hyperbole if I suggested we are entering phase two, but keep your eye on the ball. Trump will double down if only because his supporters noticed that this pissed off liberals and will egg him on. For his supporters have few guiding stars as bright and true.

Like many powerful people and particularly politicians Trump telegraphs his intentions badly in order to soften the ground and find his support. Much like his joke about remaining president after eight years (an idea for which his predecessor was burned in effigy without EVER ACTUALLY HAVING MADE SUCH A JOKE), Trump's racism has always pointed exactly where he's dying to go. The idea that this escalation is mere coincidence and hyperbole to take note of might be absurdly disingenuous, but it is absolutely irresponsible.

His rant came within days of the policy being announced and hours of it being enacted that refugees and families crossing illegally will be arrested and children will be separated from their parents. Nearly 1500 migrant children placed into homes cannot be found.  ICE agents have already been given broad discretionary powers and in some cases impunity without oversight, have been accused of civil rights violations and unapologetic cruelty, and are targeting cities (and sometimes activists) in patterns that belie extremely political and partisan agendas. The administration is prepared to hold border crossers on military bases...in camps.

This is not THE point of no return, for there have been so many already for so many folks. But another group of folks just peeled of from the belief that folks on the right could support this administration and still be a good people. And the folks who support this president no matter what he does and no matter what he says might want to consider that there's every indication that they are in imminent danger of getting a hell of a lot more blood on their hands.

And it is absolutely positively, unequivocally, undeniably, undebatably, human blood.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Best Classic Science Fiction Not Written by a Cis Het White Man (Nominations Needed)

What is the very best science fiction book or series written by a woman or POC or member of the LGBTQ+ community that is from 1997 or earlier?

Today we had a Patreon appeal post across social media, and tomorrow I have a full day planned at a new side gig. (Job #4 if you're keeping track–though this one is probably going to be very sporadic and may phase out the pet sitting when it finally does hit.) So don't expect anything until Thursday. In the meantime, we need your input!

The poll is going up probably next week. We need more nominations and seconds, so there might be at least one more call after this one.

Please check this post if you have any questions about the limiting factors of this poll.

All the rules are here

That link (above) is ALSO the place to leave any new nominations or seconds. PLEASE do not leave them here. I need them all in one place. Please remember to second even if a title already has a second. I am no longer doing several elimination rounds–at most I will do a single semifinal round. Therefore a number of titles between eight and twenty with the MOST seconds will go on to the poll.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Fortune Cookies XV

Writers would probably mind far less that folks argue with their advice about how to succeed (like writing every day) if they didn't get hit up so often for exactly that advice like they'd done something magical that required a trick.  

If you're going traditional publishing, get an agent. I don't know how much simpler to make that advice. They'll pay for themselves, give you editing advice on what to change to get sold, and keep you out of some bleary-eyed intern's "slush pile."

We all have to decide our level of involvement and give ourselves enough time to be human that we don't hit points of limited return, but it is probably no coincidence that generally the people who are making a living writing are usually the ones who overdo it....at least a little.

If you like this blog, you should probably drop a buck a month* on its Patreon, so I can keep writing it without needing 30 hours a week in side gigs just to keep the lights on. It'll mean I write more!
(*Or more!)

In a capitalist economy, all artists who want to survive by doing art have to promote themselves. An artist with no reach might be a genius but they will still be hungry or teaching typewriter maintenance if they are too good to get out there and sell themselves. And whether you pound the pavement begging bookstores to put copies on consignment, attend every literary even to make a name for yourself, or just find your audience on social media, it's work––just like everything else in this business.

You can get stuck easier than you think doing something you don't really want to do because you're in a job that's "technically writing" or because you think "it couldn't hurt" your professional development to take every opportunity. Be careful.

You don't have to be the best to make it. Sometimes you just have to be the one who gets back up once more than everyone else.

Talent might be real, but good luck even defining what it is, never mind ever seeing it make half the difference in your writing that hard work does.

Actual, Literal Protip: Don't trash the collaborators who make your book come into the world with things like cover art. They worked hard too, shit like that goes viral fast, and it'll probably do your career some very real damage.

Most people absolutely, positively love writing more than anything....but not that much.

Fanfiction is done for the love of writing. It's done for the fun of creation. For the enjoyment of the craft and the characters and their journeys. It is done without regard for payment of any kind and often despite social censure from judgemental little snots who paint them all with the same brush and call them parasites, but who, in all likelihood. aren't doing half as much of their "real" fucking writing. Hating on fanfic is like so much elitist twaddle that belies the fact that its own supercilious snobbery is unable to feel superior without tearing something else down. It's the same "I don't read that crap" all over again repeated (loudly and often) as a marker of class and sophistication by those who don't want to be seen enjoying something "beneath them."

I don't know what it's like to be "famous," but I do know what it's like as you approach that event horizon: people stop treating you entirely like a person, so it might be helpful to keep your public and private lives quite separate.

Think about all the writers you know––I don't mean personally know, but all of the writers you're aware of. All the writers you can imagine. In all the world. Not just working writers but the hobbyists, the bloggers, the poets, the trade writers, the journalists, the ones gearing up each year for NaNo or toiling away with unsatisfied ambition. Everyone with a self published book or a single title they wrote through a small press. Hundreds of thousands? Maybe millions? Now imagine the writers on the shelves with names you recognize and careers you want to emulate.

BUT HERE'S THE CATCH--NOW GET RID OF ALL THE DEAD ONES.

How many are left? A few hundred? Maybe a thousand? It's fine to write exactly as much and as hard as brings you bliss, but keep this in mind when you manage your expectations. This is analogous to being an olympic athlete of the writing world–one of the world champions of our age in writing, and those folks don't get there by training a couple of hours on the weekends when they are inspired.

I can't get enough! I need more fortune cookie wisdom!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

April's Best (2018)

The highest page-viewed, non-poll posts from last month that will go on to the halls of glory and renown in our Greatest Hits menu.  April was a struggle between schedule normalization and schedule chaotic-ification, but we managed to find some time to fight off the forces of distraction and get some good posts up. 

A Baker's Dozen Random Bits of Writing Advice I Wish Someone Had told ME. (And two that someone did.)
These random bits of advice don't fit neatly into a themed listicle, but they are things I really wish someone had told me.

Writing About Writing Staff Meeting
Seems the staff will have to actually start doing some work around here.

Writing Prompt: Short Term Goals
The most common problem writers have with goals is that they want to "make it" without having a clear sense of what "it" is. But the second most common problem is that they know the "end result" goals they want to achieve without any sense of the smaller step goals it'll take to get there.



Honorable Mention: Consider Your Writer Talent Build Carefully

This revision of a past post (that got enough views to be second place for April) is about being strategic about what kinds of writing you let yourself do just because any writing might help you improve.