on being read
this practice taught me how to be read, which is how i’ve begun learning how to write; is how i’d describe it today.
many a famous writer, like @therealmargaretatwood, say that there’s only one way to learn how to write. that is, by actually writing. i agree with that. to learn how to do things, you actually need to do them.
but writing doesn’t come without reading, in the same way that a motor response does not exists without a sensory input. one enables and contextualises the other.
learning how to be read is not an easy thing to learn. it is also a thing that i’ve rarely seen taught.
how do you, for example, learn to give your writing away with grace? how do you learn to take your own council from the feelings you get when you’re giving your writing away? how do you learn to listen to whomever wants to tell you about your writing? how do you decide when you’re ready to listen and how do you prepare for listening? how do you learn that not everything people need to say about your work is necessary interesting or important for you to hear? how do you learn to become empowered through disagreement? how do you learn to moderate conversations that relate to your work so that the experience of conversing becomes rewarding, or else learn to politely refuse feedback when you decide you don’t need or want any for whatever reason?
***there’s something to say about how people used to learn to make things, not in schools, you know? but with other makers, older makers they admired and aspired to vibe with.