Real Life and the Internet

Another interesting post on Reginald Shepherd’s blog, entitled A Few Issues in the Creative Writing Classroom. The post bears all the usual Shepherd hallmarks of clarity and thoughtfulness and everything he says about new wannabe writers is totally true. However, the most interesting thing to me is how I know that what he writes is bang on the mark, since I’ve never been in or near a creative writing classroom in my life.

The answer is from online workshops, of course. 

Now would that be the internet imitating real life, or being real life?

Favorite bit:

Because students look at their own poems and see not the words they have written but the thoughts, emotions, and experiences the word point to, they tend to write poems as captions to pictures that aren’t there, providing the meaning of something that isn’t present. The meaning is presented without giving the reader the object or situation that would actually be doing the meaning. If they do include images and concrete particulars, they will often not trust those to convey the meaning or “message” without such commentary or explanation.

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2 thoughts on “Real Life and the Internet

  1. angie says:

    To answer your question, I think it’s real life.

    Although, reactions to on-screen criticism may be more juvenile without the civility associated with face-to-face contact. It’s counter-intuitive to me, but I think it must be easier and more satisfying for many people to type up a temper-tantrum than it would be to throw it balls-out in a classroom.

    Thanks for pointing to that article. I’ve never been in a creative writing class, either, but I admit that had I done so before it “clicked” that poetry comes from reading poetry, that working with language is an art to acquire and develop, I’d have been likely to react as many younger wannabes do. It’s a different mindset to accept the crafting of language as opposed to self-expression. Does that make sense?

    I still lose patience with my learning curve. Do you? Or did you?

  2. Yes, it does make sense. And yes, improvement seems to come slowly, if at all, sometimes. Although it does sometimes help to go back and look at one’s earliest stuff, heh.

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