Thursday, December 24, 2009

Reading pros and cons

For the last several months I've been a reader for the online and print magazine, "Memoir (and)." After they published a couple of my poems they asked if I would be a volunteer reader for the next issue or so. And, of course I was honored and said, yes.
However, this volunteer job has become a bit of a push given that I work full time and the reading assignments come in once a week like clockwork. This morning I submitted 10 critiques that had been in my queue for that last several weeks. Now I only have five more pieces left to read and critique - over my holiday break.

But, the plus side of this exercise is how much I learn from it. So many of the entries come in with typos, overwriting (my writing guru always said to "write like you talk)," lack of organization or a set topic, no dialogue, telling and no showing. Some of it looks like pages full of random ideas.

But, to be fair, I have found a few good pieces, and a few pieces that could be improved with some heavy editing, Mostly, though, I've seen nothing to write home about – so to speak. This encourages me to keep on reading. I'm learning from it, and it really makes me think I’m a pretty good writer after all.

By the way, "Memoir (and)" is an excellent magazine. In the end they pick out the cream of the crop to publish. I'm honored to be a part of this magazine. Check it out. You'll see my name on the masthead.

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