on writing

I did not mean to write a blog post tonight - certainly not really write one, as I seem to save those for special occasions.

This is not a special occasion, except that I have spent the last hour reading over the blogs of people I know - or who know people I know - and falling in love with the power of their prose: Richard Roger's parallels between literature and the bottlenecking of human evolution; terpsichordal's artful descriptions of the close embrace and dancing with a familiar lead; erdaon's ode to Jason Webley. And somehow, though I don't much know what the topic of this particular post will be, I feel the need to add my voice to theirs.

In a word where so often we are surrounded by the incessant noise that is commercials and laugh-tracked sitcoms and radio talk show host chatter, it is good to remember that there are people out there who are intelligent, and educated, who can write things worth reading and say things worth hearing. So much of what we are bombarded with is of such low quality that it is easy to forget that there is anything else to be heard.

I used to feel like the writing group was a kind of safe haven from that bombardment, but it died at the beginning of this year, torn apart by misunderstandings and currents of things running beneath that I had no idea existed. It feels somewhat like the death of a friend, of something that I had depended on and expected to always exist. It had existed in one form or another for two and a half years.

I have not written much, since then.

My sister sent me an article, today, with graphs about how many female writers had bylines, wrote book reviews, and had their books reviewed in the major literary magazines. (You can view the article here.) The graphs are horrifying. Perhaps even more worrying are some of the responses by the editors of the magazines in question.

It makes me wonder about the fate of the book I plan to polish and query on this summer. And I feel, as I often do when I think about my still-nascent novel, that I have somehow let myself down because I did not write something more literary.

I have gotten enough comments from you, readers - in one form or another - to let me know that my posts here are read and appreciated at least by a handful of people. Thanks for that. It is nice to know that I am not writing entirely into the void.

It would be nice, too, if you added your voice to those who write to really write - who have intelligent and fascinating things to say - and let me know that you've started a blog somewhere. I'll follow it. We need more of us.

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