There is a reason why I write. And there's a reason why I write on Protagonize.
First and foremost, I'm not being cheeky when I pronounce my work as lame compared to some of the other writers here. Perhaps it is an overstatement beased on self deprecation, but the point is I joined this site expecting to be humbled.
People joining a Buddhist temple do not immediately call themselves master, but rather bask in the wisdom of those that are more enlightenned if only to leave the temple a better place themselves.
My family had unwritten rule. And it mader sense. If one received a Christmas present they didn't like, one was expected to graciously pronounce that. That way, the gift could be returned and would not be wasted, when something more suitable could very well be enjoyed instead . Even in the kitchen, if a new recipe was not to everyone's liking, it was impolite not to say anything. Because, the alternative, smiling while chewing with distaste was like letting someone walk around with their zipper open.
. A friend of mine, Mark,a musician once worked for CBC Television on a little known show called "Ralph Benmergui (sp?)". He would come home with tales of the writing crew laughing with great energy at their material and becoming agitated when the audience would't laugh. It was as if, Mark had said , the writing crew saw the audience below their style of humour and refusing to "go down to their level". The show, honestly, in my opinion, just wasn't funny. And for that, it was short lived.
When I write something, I do so with great effort. What might seem whimsical or laissez faire is entirely meant to. Sometimes I'll change words to make things more flippant. However, I won't leave a five line limerick published unless I'm certain that there is, at least from what I can tell, a solid rythm and some type of savvy punchline.
To tie this all together, writing is very much about ego. Few I believe, joined this site without knowing that they had a story they wanted to tell. Stories, whether they be funny, dark, sad or farcical, all come from some level of the heart. And we ache for others to hear them. We ache further for others to tell us that they got it. We want them to ask for more.
As a result, as a simple protocol, I expect more than someone simply sayng "That sucked." Tell me why you thought it sucked. That's why I'm writing online and not into a cloistered journal. I can very much handle firm criticism. In fact, I encourage it. On the same level, as much as I like to be humble, if you like something, I'm not going to mute any of your praises. We all love it when someone tells us about their favourite part. My partner in crime has heard "What was your favourite part?" so many times she's ready to throttle me any time she hears the printer whirring.
I pomise to do the same. I won't let anyone walk around with their zipper open. If grammar and punctuation is getting in the way of a fine story, then I'll tell you that. If I'm not identifying with the hero of your story, then, again, I see it as my duty as part of a collaborative writing group to let you know why I think that's happenning. And don't worry, there are times when I've uttered a comment bathing someone in so much glory it was as if it happenned subconciously. I'll even tell you what my favourite part was.
This is why I write on Protagonize. I'm no Master, just a willing particpant in a common past time.