902 posts in this topic

On 4/19/2017 at 3:12 PM, Mandamon said:

In recent months, and especially with political climates the world over, the nature of this thread has changed. However, I'd remind everyone that we are still a writing critiquing forum, and the purpose is to have fair dialogue on the submitted writing samples.

On 4/19/2017 at 4:48 PM, king007 said:

It's worth remembering that this is a sub-forum, not the whole thing. And its function is as a critiquing circle, not as a platform for discussing political issues. We have other forum sections for that, which are more suitable and better equipped for this kind of discussions.

23 hours ago, Chaos said:

In my opinion, there's no such thing as too little too late. It may be less timely, but that doesn't mean it is still valuable.

Like @Robinski, I've generally been at a loss as to what to say. But I do regret not saying anything, and so here I go, in the interests of trying to help.

I do think that the issue here, while it does play out in politics, is not a political issue at its core. It's an issue of respect. I think we should be clear: respecting people and treating people with kindness is not a political action. It is simply a human one.

As we all have seen, these kinds of heated discussions pop up in the critique threads as much as they do in the Lounge. That's because these issues, ranging from the use of pronouns to racism to how to respond to evil, do relate to our writing. They should relate to our writing. We write to reflect on and make sense of the world, and to entertain people in the meantime. I know these discussions won't go away (at least I hope they won't go away) if we just all agree to keep our discussion on this forum "non-political" or "focused on writing." I want my writing to reflect true human existence, and I want it to do so in a way that respects everyone. And I don't want anyone to hesitate to call me out, when I go wrong, in the interest of being non-political.

Letting other people read our writing, especially our developing writing, is an act of trust. And it's really sad to see people who trust each other one moment, hurt each other the next. I tend to believe the best of everyone (sometimes naively), and I do believe, even though I'm probably wrong, that these discussions go south by accident (at least at first). One person says something in ignorance of its implications. Another person is hurt. I really don't think anyone on this forum is here because they like hurting people. But it does make me sad, when someone knows they've hurt someone else, that I don't always see an apology or an effort to restore trust and respect.

I do want to say that if anyone ever gets into a discussion and is worried that they're going to respond in a way that makes things worse, feel free to PM me with questions, or a draft of your response, or just to vent. I certainly don't have all the answers, and I won't try to speak for anyone I'm not, but I'm generally more emotionally removed from these discussions, and I'd like to take the burden off of the people who are most emotionally affected and drained. (There are issues that I'm too emotional about to discuss reasonably -- but they've never come up here...:ph34r:

This forum is an amazing resource for us. I love the feedback I get here on my writing. I love being able to talk with and work with other writers in our various stages of career. I love the diversity of styles and of ideas that I get to see and learn about.

Basically, I just want to say: I love you all. Even when we fight.

P.S. Thank you @Chaos for your omniscient presence and your work here.


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To everyone who drew my attention to this thread, thank you. To all of you, I apologize for not being able to respond in a more timely fashion. In particular, I apologize to those who needed support and didn't get it over the last few days.

Over the weekend I will be taking @Mandamon's suggestion and adding some points to the Welcome to Reading Excuses thread about not attacking others on the basis of gender, religion, orientation, race, or other categories of identity. It should not need saying, but regardless of need it is certainly worth saying.

So that it is absolutely clear where I stand: As a group, we are responsible for making ourselves a welcoming space for diverse and marginalized voices (as a matter of humanity, first and foremost, but let's be clear; our ability or inability to do this absolutely does affect our craft). This is something that we clearly need to get better at. I hope I won't be the only one thinking about the best way to facilitate that process.

Per Mandamon's suggestion, I'm going to be locking this thread for now. Please keep an eye out for some modifications to the Welcome to Reading Excuses thread this weekend.


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