a world of writing

Pangea blog tour : Sarah Hilary interviewed by Gay Degani

Pangea author, Sarah Hilary, talks with short story writer and editor, Gay Degani, about the experience of writing in a group, over at Words in Place.

I think all readers desire an audience—we write to connect to others, to readers—and when that connection is broken it hurts, horribly. But I also believe that, as writers, we have to retain that trusting belief, that ability to put our words out there to be tested.

I also think, and this is the other side of the coin, that we have to develop an ear for our writing. No one else can really help with that. It’s a shame, but it’s true. We have to arrive at a place where we know instinctively when feedback from other writers—or readers—is valuable, and when it’s not. Not all advice is good advice. Indeed, some of it can be downright bad. So we should share, and we should listen, but it’s our own voice that we should be listening out for. I read somewhere recently that “A good editor opens up spaces in a writer’s head that were previously closed,” I think the same is true of good writing groups. If you get the sense that your mind is being closed instead of opened, then it’s probably time to move on, to find somewhere where the opposite is true.

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