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Category: Writing

Writers’ Alternatives and the Coming 230 Backlash

Lately, I have been reading that Twitter may be on its last legs, legally. The government is looking at its 230 immunities of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 being taken away. It could be sued into oblivion. Social media is for some their livelihoods, and when the censorship started, their livelihoods stopped.

Out of all the social media platforms I have used, Twitter is my second choice (WordPress is first – it has a robust follower aspect, if you so choose). I like the fact that you can read other feeds without having to have an account: it is an open platform, unlike FaceBook. You can follow someone and not have to ask, unlike FaceBook. I also have been on Twitter because it is a very popular place for writers to congregate. It is the reason I will stay on Twitter until it is gone.

The concern I have is if it goes the way of the dinosaur – where will the writers congregate? And this applies to FaceBook too because they are also censoring speech. I don’t have a large following, but I do enjoy the people I follow and that follow me. I could live without my social media accounts, but my writing life would be diminished.

Back before social media became popular, most relied on RSS feeds, search engines, and ranking sites. Some still do. Twitter used to have RSS capabilities.

I have tried Parler, Gab, Tumblr, Minds, Pinterst. As far as writing goes, I had the most success on Minds. Writers come with diverse political beliefs. Being part of a site with preaching- to-the-choir tendencies is not something I desire, and I think I am not alone in this. In civil discourse, we can learn from each other.

All this to say, writers need to be seriously considering an alternative plan for social media. From my reading of the conservatives on Twitter, they are for the most part fixing to jump ship.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments section.


God and Creativity

In 1963, Joseph Brodsky was charged by his native country, Russia, of “social parasitism.” During his trial, the judge asked him who enrolled him in the ranks of poet and translator, since he did not have a high school education. His reply got him sent to internal exile. His response:

I didn’t think this was a matter of education, Brodsky said. I thought it came from God.

Since God is the creator of art, and mankind is made in His image, our genes of art are passed on from Father to His children. Some refer to the Muse as being their inspiration, as in the nine Greek Muses of mythology, or some other entity, perhaps evil in nature. After Jesus ascended to Heaven, He said it was better that He go, so the Holy Spirit could empower us to live what I would paraphrase as a creative life.

When I sometimes get a Holy Spirit idea, it is just the idea, and He wants me to worship through fleshing out this idea. A co-creation. Sometimes I ask Him for ideas on my own. But it is still up to me to write and edit it through to completion.

When I moved here to Oregon several years ago, I was ready to start a new life, a new writing life. And the beauty of where I live, started me to do just that. Despite the obstacles, to write.

Poets are not pariahs. Without art, or beauty, our lives would be dull, drab, utilitarian, and even perhaps evil.


Thesaurus or No?

I have read differing opinions about poets using a thesaurus or not in writing their poems. Some think that it is unauthentic to use anything but your own language. For those, that is authentic for them.

I use Roget’s Thesaurus. It is more of an idea generator for me. But the word that is picked must serve the poem, be welded in, so as not to stand out by itself and ruin the flow. Unless of course that is the objective.

I also use Merriam’s Dictionary in concert with the thesaurus, to make sure of the exact meaning I wish to convey. I was working on a poem today and thought the word adjure would be good until I looked it up and it did not convey the message I was trying to get across.

The poet's eye in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.

-William Shakespeare's A Midnight Summer's Dream


Literary Science

I heard a new word on the radio the other day. – idiolect. The subject matter was a news item regarding finding the author of an anonymous book/op-ed piece. According to Merriam Webster, ideolect is “the language or speech pattern of one individual at a particular period of life.”

I had to take a linguistics correspondence course in college, because it would not be offered before I graduated. I took the final thinking that I don’t know what I had just learned and thought my graduation was in peril. I don’t know how I managed to make a C, but I was very grateful for it.

Forensic science can track down the author of a piece using the linguistic (scientific study of language) fingerprint. In simpler terms, every writer has a style of writing that is uniquely their own – a writer’s DNA.

I am sure that linguistics can help some writers, but regardless we all have our own styles, or what some prefer to say voice. When I started this blog, I knew I needed to be me. And that is not easy right now, and can be quite revolutionary.


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