Being a literary citizen means you’re always thinking about how you can “do some magic” for other writers.
This video appeared on my subscription feed this morning, and it reminded me of Carolyn See’s step to making a literary life, “Do Some Magic.”
For those of you out there that haven’t read her wonderful book, Making a Literary Life: Advice for Writers and Other Dreamers, “Do Some Magic” is all about self-affirmation and creating a positive place in the world to exist.
As writers, or people who spend too much time in our own heads, I think it’s too easy to get down on ourselves. I’ve found myself many times saying inwardly, “Nope, this essay is no good. You just will never be as good a writer as your peers.” This kind of self-created negativity does no one any good, and creates nothing but frustration toward the writing process.
To break that cycle, it’s necessary to take the time to say, “Yes. I can do this. I…
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It’s important to say this: I didn’t invent the term “literary citizenship.”
I first came across it in 2008 when Dinty Moore posted this link from the Brevity blog to Facebook, which linked back to Blake Butler’s blog.
Blake Butler, fictionist, blogged in a most excellent fashion recently about the need to be a positive karmic force in the world of literary citizenship. What comes around, goes around, he reminds us. Here’s an excerpt and a link to the full (albeit, oddly titled) post:
Here are some ways you can do more, outside of spending $$$.
(1) When you read something you like, in any form, write the author and tell them. You don’t have to gush or take forever. Just tell them you saw it, you read it, you liked it. It’s a supportive feeling. It’s better than not saying anything.
(2) Write reviews of books you like. Short review/long review, whatever. It’s not that hard. It takes a little work to think about it clearly, but what goes around comes around. You can’t expect to be recognized for your work if you aren’t recognizing others for…
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