Does Writing MYLOT Discussions Make Us Writers?
November 25, 2017 1:37pm CST
When I was at school, I was good at writing compositions. At uni I wrote papers on subjects dealing with English and Russian literature, linguistics and pedagogy. I had to hand in one more paper during my teacher training course on a Russian grammar topic I had taught in class. And that was it. From then on nobody wanted to see anything in written form from me anymore (I’m not discussing letters here, of course). It was me that told others to write something which I then checked and marked. Over the years doubts began to lurk in my mind. I always knew what was right (more often what was wrong) with my students’ compositions. But was I still capable of producing top notch stuff myself? So I write reviews/posts/opinions/discussions (each site has its own term). Does that make me a writer? Someone runs to the bus stop. Does this make them a runner? Someone sings in the shower. Does this make them a singer? No! to all three questions. I may write good posts but don’t see myself as a writer. There’s a gap between writing posts and a full-blown book, a gap I can’t bridge. In it lie: an original idea that hasn’t already been used a zillion times, a tightly knit plot, a story that holds the readers’ attention from beginning to end, well-developed characters with distinct voices, an elaborate vocabulary and the capability of using figurative speech correctly. With the exception of the last two items, you won’t find anything of this in a post on a writing site like this. Should you come across a comment like “You should write books” in someone’s comment thread - some members distribute it generously - you’ve either found an example of thoughtlessness, shameless flattery or sheer stupidity. I know of one member who’s written serious, well-received books. We can deduce that someone who can write books can also write posts. This doesn’t mean, however, that it also works the other way round. There are sites on which people who want to learn how to become writers can learn the craft and discuss what they do with like-minded people. This is a good thing. What I don’t like is members who post their serious literary attempts on an blog or opinionating site where they do not belong. If the literary attempts come in the form of poems, I usually suffer. I’ve discovered that I can endure only funny and/or silly poems on such sites. Words Or sentences Written like this Don’t make A poem. Someone writing Words Or sentences Like this Is not a poet. Published words Or sentences Written like this Are not poetry. Paper is patient.
31 people like this
I have had several books printed, so I guess I am somewhere a writer although I have never written novels. But these books are written in French, and I would never consider to write one in English for obvious reasons. myLot offers me an opportunity to chat with people around the world and make online friends, writing is something subsidiary, and the anonymity I can have here suits me just fine.
• Los Angeles, California
There was an old rule of thumb that you weren't a real writer unless published in print and paid for it. I won't condemn those posting poems and stories on a site like this because it may be their only avenue to get read and receive feedback. What you may not care for, others may appreciate. I post travel pieces which I could be criticized for as they should be on a travel site. You yourself have published book reviews that could be argued should just be on Good Reads. Specifically referring to myLot, the beauty of the site is the variety to be found.
• Riga, Latvia
Yes @JohnRoberts there is certainly no reason different kinds of articles can't be posted here because they can also be shared on social sites and in that way draw attention to myLot. I for one would have absolutely nothing to say if I had to only talk about what happens everyday. Nothing happens I am alone, my cat Sid sleeps and I work on the net. But at least I can share all kinds of interesting things with people here and I can have a good time finding out what everyone is up to.
• Riga, Latvia
Well I certainly consider myself both a poet and a writer. I have been writing online now since about 2008. I don't think I need to prove anything. I just write and create poetry and whoever likes what I write then good. I am in the process of getting together my poems to publish an e-book of poetry.
• Riga, Latvia
@MALUSE I think that on site like myLot there is no reason why some of the wiring cannot be of an informative or writing about certain topics and so on. I don't think it has to just be about what one person did and what another person thinks. If it hasn't got variety then it is not so interesting. Perhaps I just misunderstood what you meant.
• United States
I do understand what you are saying. No this is not a writing site as the point of you are a professional writer if you write here at mylot. I feel mylot as a chat site with benefits = $ However, I am a blogger, whether I am good or not at this moment I do not know but the more I write the better I become. I have a book of poems written and in no way do they resemble the poems "Roses are red, violets are blue" stuff. Mine tell a story of my life during a dark time and the words only mean something to me, I am not sure I would ever share those in a book, although I have enough to make a book. I also have a cook book written, now let me tell you that is one hard book to write and I also have photos of each dish, some complete instructions with photos. So yes I feel as though I am becoming a writer but I only chat here at mylot. I learn a lot about how peoples minds work
• Oxford, England
Well I am a writer who writes on myLot but I make a distinction between a normal post and the odd story I write here. However, I have had people publish things I wrote and this is what I put on my tax form. I do, hoeever, think it good if anyone wants to write. I am also a poet and have both performed and published poetry.
I have never been a writer and I am unable to write poems. Too many believe to be "cooks" only because they can place a frozen pizza in the oven, so why not make them believe that they are writer because they post their daily diary on myLot?
• Bangalore, India
I agree with what you have said here. I remember in my early mylotting days some one had said that everyone on mylot is a writer. It's more of a 'feel good' comment really. I have attempted writing stories and such and they take 100 times more effort than a mylot post. Writing a novel isn't just about writing whatever thought comes to our mind. Planning a plot and story need so much of thought , research and dedication. Your comment on poetry has hit the bullseye. In the cover of kindness many are pushing others in borderline delusional ideas of what talent really is.
@MALUSE I really want to come around to your way of thinking and find some agreement. But I also reserve the option to disagree even if it makes me unpopular too. I know how it works around here. I do agree in general that the majority of "posts" on this site are not of very good quality. Poetry I like to compare to artwork. I'm not sure who it was now, just can't remember but a famous artist once made an ashtray as a joke. The art lovers wrote all kinds of articles on what they thought the ashtray said. Now I ask you which 'thing' is the garbage? The so so writing that needs editing badly or the supper professional work that is complete bullshit. A poem is a poem is a poem.
• United States
In my honest opinion, Mylot is more of a discussion site, a place where complete strangers can gather together and communicate via online of a variety of topics. Now, consider fanfiction.net, wattpad.com, and fictionpress.net, these are places where inspiring writers, authors, and more can write and share their stories with the world. Mylot itself isn't really the place to share complete stories, unless you're wanting to make a discussion out of them. I confess I have shared a scene from my novel here, which I'll likely delete at some point. I am an author myself, and I strive to keep my writing advice limited to a few places, such as perhaps Twitter, Instagram, and my wordpress site. I sometimes talk about my book, wanting to share the joy and excitement I feel at finishing it. Honestly, it takes me forever to finish a novel. Now when it comes to actually discussing the topic writing and someone here asks for advice, I don't see the harm in it. However, constantly posting nothing but advice when it's not wanted, while two things can be done: One, it can be ignored or two, reported. I usually just read the advice and take it into consideration myself. I barely come on Mylot these days, but when I do it's to find and participate in well-meaning discussions like this one.
• New Zealand
This question comes up often and you've shown by your response to it that you are indeed a writer - whether you feel comfortable with the term or not. But I know what you mean. I call what I do here dabbling in writing, not the real thing. It's also a good place to practice writing.
• Washington, District Of Columbia
Coming up with discussions and posts takes creativity. It wrecks my brain sometimes. If you can write posts and get more than 10 responses then you definitely have a gift. Trying to figure out how to do that since joining mylot.