View Full Version : How Does One Give to a Giving Tree?

August 16th, 2017, 10:35 PM
It says something about conditions in a subforum when a mentor has to start a thread reminding members that critique is objective to the writing and not the writer...(Critique is Writing 101, it shouldn't come as a surprise. :calm: ) That in one breath some members want critique yet find an excuse as to why they are exempt from offering it...And how an entire thread of contributing members was reduced to the level of blatant idiocy...

From a writer's standpoint and that of an articulate human being...this is not okay. While no rules were broken, it doesn't reflect well on attitudes. Internet communities like WF flourish because of a steady balance of give and take. Lately, it has felt like a heck of a lot more taking has been happening and the giving has been taken entirely for granted. Entitlement has limits. Yes, members are entitled to two creative posts per day, but in reality should one take both and offer nothing in return? Basic rules of fair play would say no. And what of members who don't care for other members' opinions on a subject? Does that automatically make them stupid, their observations worth less than the another's? No. What about when members post, are they eligible for critique. Yes. Are they entitled to it. No. More critically, true critique is often viewed as worthless or seen as an overtly hostile act.

The poetry forums have been mercurial extremes and it has been a bit discouraging. The giving portion of forum interactions shouldn't fall to a handful of dedicated staff and mentors. As members we have all benefitted from this community and it deserves more giving than it is currently receiving. We are all here with a common interest, writing, more specifically poetry, (not something that is a hot topic outside of writing communities). And like the apple tree in Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree there is a limit to resources. We need to take better care of those that we currently have and stop acting like that entitled boy. That apple tree gave and gave until she was reduced to nothing and still that boy took when he could have done something as simple as plant the seeds from the apples the tree provided, thus fostering more growth, more apples and resources for all.

Yes, there will be differences with opinion, and people are entitled to their opinions, it doesn't mean they are worth more or less than anyone else's. We are entitled to our thoughts and ideas. Diversity of thought and perspective is an inherent part of writing and as these are public forums, members stem from around the world and cross all age and skill levels. Critique is objective to the writing, not writers...And if one is expecting critique, individuals who give critique are more likely to receive it. One line replies don't count for much. Firemajic, Jenthepen, and ned do a stellar job of what critique should and can be. It doesn't require exhaustive detail, but it does require more than a five second, one sentence reply. A bit of critical thought needs to go into whethertos and whyfores. Take a cue from those who do it well, a seed of potential, and plant it. Offer a seed and watch it grow so the Giving Tree is not the lone giver. Two seeds planted for one apple taken. And who knows, a whole farmer's market might spring up if we all take a little time and plant our own seeds. Even if you don't have a seed there are still the critical roles of watering and weeding that need seeing to, too...;) If you don't like apples, cultivate tuffala trees, violets, orchids, balsam pine, heck even a topiary, just so long as it grows. (Shit spreaders offer a good supply of nitrogen rich resources, too! :smile:) Water and sunshine are also, always welcome.

The Green Lady needs tending, so who will you be? The tree or the boy? One poem, two perspectives.

I'm a good friend of the Lorax so I will speak for the tree.

- D. the T.