The Burden Of Rules
So what is the solution? xoJane writer Sarah Seltzer suggests: “A writing workshop should always begin with this addition to the rules: ‘If you approach a word, a phrase, an idea or a cultural reference that is unfamiliar to you, it’s your job as a reader to figure it out from context or look it up.’ … The reader’s unschooled ignorance becomes the burden, not the writer’s ‘exotic’ references.” I wonder. Even as an instructor, I have had the experience of having to tread carefully around race.
"When Defending Your Writing Becomes Defending Yourself"—NPR Code Switch, July 20, 2014
"A lot of my political writing is really outrage driven. Something will happen, like the Supreme Court decision yesterday, and I’ll write an immediate blog post explaining why I think it’s terrible, and that will happen over the course of three hours. And then sometimes it will take me two years to write a short story. Because of who I am there’s always sort of a somewhat feminist lens. The last short story I had published was written from the perspective of a pretty misogynist guy and I made him sympathetic, I think, or I was trying to. But even playing around with that comes from my feminism and looking at gender and how it plays into our relationships."
Interview with Sarah Seltzer | Ma’yan
I got interviewed on a blog for teenage women’s leadership, which was fun! And also somewhat nerve-wracking, as the usual welder of the tape recorder and notepad.
"Others, though, push back against the idea that pleasures should be ranked. At xoJane, Sarah Seltzer writes: “My 12-year-old Nancy Drew self and my 12-year-old Jane Austen self are the same person, the same aggressive reader. “I mostly read to be challenged and moved. But sometimes I just read to be transported. Depending on the day, the hour, I want to laugh, think, or cry, or find out what the kids today are up to. Often I want to learn a narrative technique I can use for my own short stories.” Critics, she argued, should judge young-adult and other genre books on their own merits, not against works of literary fiction: “How satisfying are they? How much fun? How badly will I want to stay up all night, sucked into a vortex, reading like I’m 12 and Nancy Drew’s life is hanging in the balance?"
— Defending ‘Guilty Pleasures’ - NYTimes.com
"My reaction was, ‘Oh, no, not again’,” said Sarah Marian Seltzer, 31, who wrote one such retort, “Dear Shailene Woodley,” for the website the Hairpin. “There is this pattern of celebrities immediately saying, ‘No, I’m not a feminist, I love men,’ and there’s not a chance for a follow-up learning experience for anyone."
Who Is a Feminist Now? - NYTimes.com
Quoted in the NY Times! Huzzah.
Tomorrow, on a panel about blogging for change at the JOFA conference: http://sched.co/18JlWUL
Wednesday, reading at Launchpad in Crown Heights: https://www.facebook.com/events/636434223074310/