My personal opinions of Boudinot’s critical article of writing programs

I came upon Ryan Boudinot’s article ‘Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Now That I No Longer Teach in One‘ after following a series of links. I read about the criticism he received before I actually read it. So I was biased from the beginning. People were going on about how he had to be a cruel person to write what he did, but after I read it I didn’t agree with them.

I found that the article really spoke to me. It was a dose of realism for people, who perhaps had been ignorant of what to expect when it came to the world of writing. I remember in my own creative writing course at USC (Australia) this question was posed many times.  How does a person become a creative writer? Well Boudinot answers it. You’re either born with the talent for it or not. Some people are creative in terms of words and stories, others are not. A few will be masters of it, most will either be average or give up altogether.

He states that people who are serious about writing decide early on in their lives if it’s worth pursuing or not. I wanted to write stories since I was 13 and had dabbled in it since around 11/12. And people who complain about not having the time to write are simply not creating or finding it. That is their problem.

Also, the better you are as a writer the more people will read/like you. It’s true. Furthermore once you give up insecurity of how people will look at you and your work, you will create some of your best work. Complete freedom from others gives you complete freedom to write. Which follows this next point. The old publishing model is dying and it is up to individual people to give life to their works. Don’t rely on others to carry you.

Discoverability guys . . . (a rant)

I just read an article by Sara Sheridan on authors/writers and using social media. As I read it I was shocked at how adverse other authors were to setting up a blog, a twitter account or facebook page in order to increase their notoriety. At uni I did a class that specifically revolved around online social media and the publishing sector. And in another we looked at the idea of discoverability.

Discoverabilty is pretty much the most important thing that a author/writer needs to have. If someone can’t find your work then they can’t read or buy it. And the people in this article seem to not only complain that they are losing readership, but they seem adverse to even try to gain new readers. Its like they are intentionally trying to cripple themselves. You can’t afford to stop putting in effort on your novel once you finish writing it. Publishing houses now have to expectation that you have social media skills because, well sometimes they don’t.

As an author you need to put yourself out there. And you need to do it before you publish your first book. The more attention you can garner the better it will sell.