“literary” = you got to be kidding…

So I’m sitting at Cup O’ Joes and typing away like mad at my NaNoWriMo novel, and having a casual conversation with someone next to me, who says, “hey, y’know, Thurber House does workshops, you should check it out…”

For those who don’t know, Columbus was the hometown for James Thurber (and if you don’t know who he was, shame on you). Thurber House is his old home, converted into historical society fodder and writer-in-residence space.

So I spot pamphlets at CoJ’s “news” cubby, snag one up, and look through it…

Yup. Workshops. Awesome, I think…until I see the instructor’s “credentials”: a couple literary awards, and “many short stories published in literary journals”.

The Big Red Warning Flag went up, because “literary” usually means “stuff no one wants to read”.

I’ve had enough bad experience with workshops & classes run by “literary” writers (Daniel Keane, I spit my last breath at thee). It’s almost always a case of the instructor imposing their Impeccable Taste on us glassy-eyed wannabes. Bah.

Gimme the honest writers who make their living at it, who actually write stuff that folks want to read, that folks really DO read and re-read and enjoy. I mean, Thurber himself would never have considered himself “literary”; he just wrote funny stuff that people loved. All the lasting stories and tales shoved down our throats in English class were written for entertainment at the time, for the masses, not for some high-falutin’ “literary” bullshit.

Writing that self-consciously tries to be “art”, fails.

Rant done. Back to NaNo. WRITE WRITE WRITE.

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