r|A|i|N

United States

"ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which i will not put."

Message to Readers

hey everyone -
my earlier version of this piece didn't go as i had wanted it to - i think a lot of people felt attacked or thought this was going to be another war on lowercase prose, and that wasn't my intention at all. i don't glory in controversy and these last few days have been stressful for me because of all of the disparity i created. i got a lot of comments thanking me, and a lot that disagreed with me, and a few that told me i had "unhealthy self esteem" and my thoughts were unjustified because of this. so i've simplified my message in section 4, because the old one turned out to be more aggressive than i had intended. thank you in advance for understanding.

an overall message to the write the world community (shout-outs, tips, how i think the community could improve)

May 19, 2020

FREE WRITING

24
hi!  i was inspired by the_enclave and some of the pieces he's writing to tell you all some of the things that i love about write the world, and some things i'd like to see change, as well as just some general tips and shout-outs.  this is a giant piece that combines all of the information in one, so that i don't spam the feed with tons of smaller things.
please only read the things you're interested in reading.  if you want to skip around, here's the table of contents (each section is headed in bold and caps).

1. shout-outs to favorite writers & pieces
2. things that i have learned from being on wtw for almost three years now
3. what i love about wtw
4. community changes?

~

SHOUT-OUTS TO FAVORITE WRITERS & PIECES

some favorite writers:
rainandsonder - yes, this is biased because r&s and i are friends in real life.  they introduced me to this website in 2017 and have been instrumental in helping me love to write - we've collaborated from the time we were six or seven and i'm so grateful.  r&s has also been a nonstop member of this community.  their intricate, spidery prose has been influential to write the world in general, including me, and they've received quite a well-deserved following.  if you haven't read r&s's work, where have you been?  they're so talented.
oscar_locke - oscar's also been here for forever.  his work has been huge for me - i sometimes go back and read favorite poems.  i first started getting into his work in around 2018 (?), and i think most of what was so important about it to me was that it taught me that a poem could be good.  that a poem could be impressive and awe-inspiring and important to others besides the writer.  at times when i had no idea how to write, oscar's poems were like helping hands, aspirations.  he hasn't been as active over the past few months and i really miss his ongoing collection of work, but i do look back at his poetry every now and again to be inspired.
norah - i think i was first spellbound by norah's work when i read "queer (on reclaiming)" sometime in 2019.  her account was inactive at the time but i would go back every couple of months and reread that poem because i loved it so much.  her tone is clear, mature and lucid.  norah has influenced my writing countless times and i'm so grateful for her presence on the site, particularly now that she's back and writing stronger than ever.
amalia - i've only recently started reading amalia's pieces but she's already a favorite of mine here.  her pieces can flash between being funny, elegant, and challenging.  what i really admire about amalia is that her pieces are distinct and speak for themselves.  i said in a q&a the other week that i liked writing that isn't trying to be, it just is.  amalia is the definition of that sentiment.  even her rawest pieces aren't angsty or adolescent, they're honest and real and simple.  it's a somewhat indefinable quality that earns my respect a hundredfold.
ghostlyglory - i think i found ghostlyglory's writing when she had published her third piece ever, "learned behavior," and i instantly connected to her writing, mostly because, as the poem describes, we have a shared obsession with biting fingernails.  her writing is lovely and complicated.  i've read too many of her poems feeling frustrated because she can say, in a single work, what i've been trying to say with the last five pieces i wrote, and say exactly what she wants to say at the same time.  there's something indescribably good about her figurative language.  she's a seriously impressive writer.
(note: this list is short, and please don't take offense if your name is not included.  i made it really short because i think a long list would seem more exclusive to the people that weren't on it.  so i just took the very top people from a list of favorites.  but i really love everyone here, believe me!)

a small sample of some favorite pieces (both old and new):
"icebox" by oscar_locke - it reads like a painting, kind of; very simple, almost creepy.  i feel like i've said this a lot but i cannot emphasize enough how inspiring oscar's work is.
"hellebore on a summer day" by brielle p. chor - a recent find, clever and a little bit nonsense.
"painting your own sun" by temy - a classic!  i believe it's the most liked piece on write the world (66 likes as of now).  let's get it to 100!  like it if you haven't already.
"garden song" by ghostlyglory - inexplicably relatable.  comforting, and both mysterious and understandable - it has that beautiful, undefinable quality that makes it one of ghostlyglory's best works.
"transgender discrimination" by pi_pen - i'm always astonished at how well pi_pen can form a cohesive, well-reasoned argument.  a lovely piece with a great message.
"you will always be from alabama" by crow_e - i give you the link to this piece despite the fact that pretty much everyone on the site has already read it.  there has never been a more deserving winner to a wtw contest.
"queer (on reclaiming)" by norah - a lovely poem with great tone.  i highly recommend.
"rainbow" by ryder - ryder and i have had a complicated relationship, and i'm not such a big fan of her offensive pro-abortion comments , but this piece is a favorite for sure - it's simple and brilliant, very pleasant.
"sails, unfurled" by lucifern - complicated, meaningful, and interesting.
"the end of all things" by nmallaghan - lovely.
"split ends" by annie_cheng - annie's prose is stunning - she has a short list of works and i recommend every one of them.
"wtw news" by amalia - wonderful and hilarious.  i've read through all of them about three times.  seriously good read.

~

THINGS THAT I HAVE LEARNED FROM BEING ON WTW FOR ALMOST 3 YEARS NOW

this section is inspired by the_enclave's piece.

general tips:
1. if you're interested in navigating your way around the write the world general features, check out this piece by dmoral13.
2. the standard write the world peer review isn't very detailed and does a poor job at providing solid critical feedback.  there are many pieces that go detail about how you can make your peer reviews better, including this one by reviewers' club, this one by corner writing club, and this one by rainandsonder.  i'll give it to you briefly: use the highlight section, provide a healthy amount of constructive criticism, and write in detail about what you thought of the piece.  it makes a huge difference and you will earn the respect of the writer you're reviewing by showing them that you are dedicated to helping other people.
3. this tip goes hand-in-hand with the last one.  there are several writers who offer "free reviews" at your suggestion, and you can comment any piece you want reviewed for them to do.  don't abuse this privilege.  i can't speak for everyone, but when i personally offer someone a review i'm offering them forty-five minutes of my time.  even if you are interested in hearing what someone thinks of your piece, don't ask for a review unless you're actively willing to revise the piece multiple times and communicate with the reviewer.  if you only want people to sing praises of your work, just ask for them to comment.  it spares the reviewer so much time.
4. don't spam the wtw feed, particularly on issues that the admins are touchy about.  i had my old account removed because of that.  the_enclave wrote a piece about it here.
5. this is just a general logistics-of-the-site tip: don't change your username.  changing your username is totally different to changing your bio or profile picture.  it makes you as a writer virtually impossible to find.  if someone's interested in catching up with your latest work and they search your name in the searchbar, they won't find you, and they'll likely assume that you've deleted your account.  there have been times where i haven't known for months who someone with a different username is, even if i was friends with them before.  even if your username is the stupidest thing ever (i got landed with r|A|i|N and i have no idea what i was thinking), don't change it.  it's not worth it.
6.  however write the world may choose to advertise itself, it is, at its core, a social media platform.  if you feel stressed or anxious about your reputation or your online friends, or if you're just going through some writer's block and it's freaking you out, take a break; go on a hiatus, even if it's just a few weeks long.  if you publish a piece telling people how you feel and notifying them that you won't be active, i guarantee they will understand.
7. be open to reading everybody's work!  (more on that in section 4).
8. be aware that anything that you post on write the world can be claimed by the site.  they can post it on their blog, journal, or instagram, and they can even edit what's written in the piece (i have a friend whose work made their instagram but they fixed "inexistent" to "nonexistent."  it's obviously not a big difference but just be aware that they have that power).  if you write something that you really like but you don't want write the world taking credit, don't publish it here.  that said, write the world doesn't bite - they're going to cite you as the author no matter what, and their spreading your writing around is all meant in the spirit of helping writers get an audience.  (this was mentioned in the_enclave's piece as well).
9.  write the world is not like youtube - the amount of followers that you have doesn't say much about how well you write or how much people like you, so don't worry if you don't have that many followers yet.  people usually get a following just from being active.  the easiest way to get followers is simply to publish, like, and review consistently - in other words, just be a part of the community.  write the world is a small enough community that hard work can really pay off, and your work will be noticed if you're persistent.
10. feel free to republish your pieces if you feel like they didn't get much attention, but don't abuse this power.  it can be difficult to know when to stop republishing pieces, because notifications are always fun to get and republishing is an easy way to get them.  but it can get annoying if you republish mad amounts of times.  more importantly, it will clog up the dashboard, resulting in people who are new to write the world and don't know how to republish not getting any attention because their piece vanished in a sea of republishes when they put it on the dashboard.  perhaps save a ton of republishes for important public service announcements that you really need people to see, stuff like that.  i know that the republishing mania is hard to mindful of - i still struggle with it myself.  just be mindful, and allow room for newer writers.

~

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT WTW

there have been many complaints, over the past year and a half in particular, about how finicky the admins are, what's wrong with the review/comment section, etc.  when asked what people like most about write the world, most members would say, "the community!"  and i feel like we don't give enough credit to the actual website, because it's awesome.  for one thing, wtw is really easy to navigate and use.  the feedback system is good, keeping hate out and support in - pieces can be liked but not disliked, people can comment what they like while the admins keep a watchful eye, the terms of service are reasonable for the most part, and reviews have to go through a process before they're published.  i'm also just really appreciate of the very idea of write the world - a safe writing platform for younger writers.  and the size of the community ensures that writers are protected from online bullies.
back to talking about the community, the size of wtw is what makes it so great, i think.  if it were a massive platform with millions of users, we wouldn't be able to make connections as easily.  i love the fact that someone can mention a name on wtw and everyone will know who it is.  for the same reason, it's very easy to get a following or get your writing noticed.
i just wanted to write that little note of appreciation in this piece, because however much i complain, i do love write the world and am incredibly grateful for it.

~

COMMUNITY CHANGES?

i love the vast collection of poetry that this site has amassed, and i continue to be an avid writer and reader of this type of poetry.  recently i've been getting into more review-type stuff, and i've published a couple of book reviews here.  i thought when i published them that my pieces were rare because more essay-type stuff wasn't as frequent here, but i realized after some digging that reviews and essays aren't uncommon, they just don't get a lot of attention or likes.  i wanted to spread a little psa because i think that the site could benefit from being more diverse.  write whatever you'd like of course, but try to be open with what you read, even if it's not something you're familiar with.  i think it would really do wonders to broaden the horizons of wtw and make it even better and more various than it is.  once given more attention, these other kinds of pieces could diversify monthly highlights and give more writers better platforms.  an essay can be just as awesome as a poem.  it's just something to consider.  and don't be afraid to write outside the lines, either.  if you ever feel like something you write just won't be that popular because of genre or otherwise, you can always comment me and i'll read it and give you some feedback.

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  • May 19, 2020 - 1:30pm (Now Viewing)

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6 Comments
  • Anha

    2019 highlights are finally live, and you're in them! (if you'd like me to remove this notif after you see it because it affects the message you're trying to make, please tell me.)
    https://bit.ly/36qKapR


    6 months ago
  • Quarkoala

    This piece was very helpful. Thanks for writing it!

    By the way, as somebody who gives free peer reviews, what I can say about it is that people should think twice before entering their piece for a contest to be reviewed. Currently, I have a lot of reviews to do, and when somebody enters a review for a contest, I typically don't get it to them before the due date.


    6 months ago
  • sunny.v

    try not to be too stressed out! it takes a lot to put your thoughts out there laid bare. stirring the pot and having discussions like this seems to be good for the most part. disparity in opinions is bound to happen <3


    6 months ago
  • Kayden

    As someone who's still new to this site I found this very helpful, so thank you so much for writing it! It's obvious you put a lot of effort into writing this very respectfully and in a way that wouldn't offend anyone. I for one really appreciate that. :)


    6 months ago
  • happy butterfly

    I'm also sorry if you were attacked,I understand what you meant.I also want to say that I did say that I thought poetry was written more frequently not always because of the trend.But I didn't mean it in a rude way and I'm sorry if that made you feel hurt,now I feel so bad if you misinterpreted my words.Though I did say I agreed with you about being open to variety and I still do agree.Sending love and I hope you understood what I meant.Im just writing this to be on the safe side because I really don't want to hurt your feelings<3<3


    6 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Don't worry, your section on lowercase prose in the last version was perfectly acceptable. I'm sorry you were attacked for it.


    6 months ago