Anything You Hate About Your Medium? Fess Up.

Recently, I saw some submission guidelines that requested authors to indicate what they liked and did not like about their chosen medium. I was surprised to see this question held out as something to consider before an author sent in work for consideration, but also pleased. Why, really, do any of us want to work in poetry? In essay? In blog, for that matter? It has to be something more than hearing ourselves think.

But what really intrigued me was the question of what we do not like about our chosen forms. What does that kind of questioning do for an author? For any other kind of artist?

1. It might push us to consider other forms.
2. We might discover something about our creative processes that is more telling than whatever we think we don’t like about a given form.
3. It might encourage us to challenge that which we don’t like in a way that shakes up how we work.
4. It makes us consider if the trade-off – what we like versus what we don’t like – is really worth it.

Since we usually prefer to think of why we love our chosen mediums, here is something I came across in, “A Conversation with Martha Collins,” in the summer 2011 issue of The Writer’s Chronicle. Collins said that what made her fall in love with poetry was, “I discovered writing in which I did not have to know what I was going to say when I started.” I would add that this could be true of any art form in which the creative process is really working. We start with the wisp of an idea and it takes shape as we work with it.

And you? What do you love and what do you not love about writing in any form? Chime in.

DO A KIND THING

Looking for something to do on Father’s Day? How about stepping up for kids? On Sunday, June 19, consider taking part in the Children’s Advocacy Center Walk – Step Up for Kids! The event is designed raise awareness of the incidence of child abuse in our communities and the agencies who work to make a difference in the lives of abused kids. For more information, please visit these websites:

Children’s Advocacy Center Walk – Step up for Kids!
CornerHouse
Midwest Children’s Resource Center
Minnesota Children’s Alliance

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