Things I Should Have Said in Class Tonight about Blogging

Things I Should Have Said in Class Tonight about Blogging

I’m amazed that it actually took me two years to figure out that I should blog about teaching. Like, duh? I was this person walking around with a big sign on my forehead. Everyone else saw this sign, everyone understood this sign’s essential truthfulness, but I couldn’t see it.

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Hey, there’s an award for Literary Citizenship!

Hey, there’s an award for Literary Citizenship

The blog Beyond the Margins (a great one for writers to follow) put out a call for nominations for what they called “The Above and Beyond Award,” and got fifty nominations…

…fifty of the most generous souls in the writing world: writers who have taught, mentored, published, connected, fostered, championed, edited, soft-shouldered – even paid bills — for other writers. It’s like finding a Map of the Mensches.

I know many of the names listed IRL or from Facebook/Twitter, but have to add two names:

  • Dinty Moore, whose daily writing quotes on Facebook and blog for Brevity have taught me much.
  • Lee Martin, whose blog posts on teaching and consistent praise for his students at Ohio State always make my day.

Note: these are not millennials. These are two guys who, like me, didn’t grow up with social media but have learned how to use it in a mindful, positive way. See, blogging and SM doesn’t have to be all about self-promotion and bragging on yourself, and it’s not just something the kids do.


The first time I encountered the term “literary citizenship”

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.

BREVITY's Nonfiction 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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