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A new proposal

I'm not trying to make you cry, but....

By Hannah MoorePublished 2 months ago 3 min read
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A new proposal
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Community comrades, I would like to try something different this week. Me, not you, you can go about your business in whatever way you please, of course. But I would like to read differently this week. I have written previously about my somewhat challengingly conscientious vocal reading habits, and in Reply All, my response to Vocal's solicitation of our aspirations for 2024, I laid out my plans for readjusting these reading habits to manage my own capacity, as well as to free up more time for engaging with writers new to me. This largely involved letting go of the pressure to read everything anyone I had subscribed to writes, de-prioritising those creators with whom a one sided relationship is the prevailing norm. I am on no high horse here, understand, I am both an imperfect reciprocator (though I try) and an inconsistent community adventurer. Miraculously, my piece about reading LESS on Vocal did not place in that challenge!

This past week however, I noticed myself feeling again that I was giving superficial attention to great pieces in order to try to get more great pieces read. And so, this week, I'm going to try doing something different. Heads up, I may be woefully underequipped for this, but it might be good for both of us to try.

This week, I am going to read very little that pops into my notification window indeed. Instead, I would like to delve more thoroughly into a small number of pieces. I am hesitant in proposing this, beating around the bush a little, because I don't know if I am up to the task. I am no teacher, I last took a class pertaining to English in any form in 1996, and I am about to have an adolescent Irish Wolfhound houseguest for two weeks, which means I will mostly be working and walking, or dragging an exuberantly loving giant off two overpowered human siblings with an understandable distaste for canine face washes. However, this is what I propose. If you would like some criticism on a specific piece, post me a link below and I will have a go. The aim here though is not to say nice things about your piece of writing, the aim is to pick holes alongside underscoring strengths. I might hurt your feelings. I'm not going to be trying not to. Please, hold in mind I have all the expertise of your dad. Assuming your dad is no literary critic. Just because I say it doesn't make it the only truth. It has been known that I am...wrong. I also might be completely lost for critique because this is not something I have practiced first! But if anyone is up for giving it a try, lets go!

Caveats will be that if 49 people send me 30 minute articles, I aint getting through them in a week, am I? So, you know, sorry if I fail. And there is little chance of me reading anything tonight, my 14 year old is about to arrive home from a whole week 1000 miles away from me, and I intend to spend my evening gazing unnervingly at him in adoration.

Otherwise, lets come at it in the spirit of curiosity and see how this goes! And if anyone wants to reciprocate (no obligation whatsoever, this is not my purpose here), please have at me, I can take it.

As a postscript, I am feeling a grave sense of anticipatory performance anxiety around this, but I don't want to spend the remaining words I need to meet the minimum word count going on and on about not being good enough, except now that I have, I not inclined to delete it so...

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Hannah Moore

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Comments (19)

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  • Joe O’Connorabout a month ago

    Great idea Hannah, and I think one that is sorely needed here. I also think this kind of areticle encourages readers who have interacted with you before and understand that you are genuine, to submit something for an honest look rather than just uncritical praise. Love it! 👏

  • Donna Fox (HKB)2 months ago

    I love stream of consciousness and level of honesty you present in this piece!! There's always something about the rawness of your work that just pulls me in and I always admire your bravery for it! I am curious about how you feel this experiment went?? Because it did sound like you were struggling with the idea of possible "failure" but I also struggle to define any effort as a failure when you know you did your best. Which should count for more than just a pass/ fail sort of feeling, in my opinion.

  • ROCK 2 months ago

    A forward, raw approach is always best when speaking to a writer in my opinion. Digging is required. Unless you are a writer of children's books on poop or giraffes dancing. There aren't so many layers to delve into there, lol. I respect your approach. I can tell who is going for top commenter and who genuinely read and thought about my writing. Go for it!

  • Mackenzie Davis2 months ago

    Ugh I feel you so much on not being able to keep up. I SUCK, I know I do. I only get to a fraction of what I ought in reciprocating. And when I think I'm doing good, I realize I've neglected a handful of people unwittingly for far too long. I always hope people don't hold it against me... :( I always admire how well you seem to juggle everything in your life. I love your idea, Hannah. What a wonderful way to give in-depth comments while still engaging the community. Brilliant stroke, there. I may have to emulate this later down the line. I do hope you've been enjoying more family and doggy time the past couple days! If you want, I'd appreciate feedback on "An Exercise in Receiving Kindness." https://vocal.media/fiction/an-exercise-in-receiving-kindness. Wrote it quickly and I know it needs some work. Haven't been doing my due diligence with fiction lately.

  • Paul Stewart2 months ago

    I like your new challenge! I might take you up on it...hope it goes well with the dog and glad your lad is back home safe and sound. Hope he had a nice time!

  • This is such a nice thing for you to do Hannah! I don't know if I'm prepared to get my feelings hurt, lol. But if I feel prepared enough, I'll swing by here to share a piece with you!

  • Great idea! I feel ‘bad’ that I’ve missed reading most of the stories I’m notified about lately… tyranny of the urgent wins out over Vocal reading unfortunately. How are you going to find time Hannah… with your precious son & precocious Irish Wolfhound visiting? Constructive feedback sounds excellent… though at this stage I’m probably only brave enough for my daughter’s feedback 😵‍💫… we’ll see 😆. All the best ✅

  • Caroline Craven2 months ago

    Hannah, you are more than up to the task. Your writing is excellent and I think feedback/ critique is the only (fastest) way to improve.

  • JBaz2 months ago

    I like your train of thought on this new task.I have been overwhelmed as well, yet when you read so many good ones it’s hard to stop. But my writing is hurting do to time constraint

  • L.C. Schäfer2 months ago

    This used to be my approach, but I'm finding it difficult to keep up so I've had to settle for leaving much shorter comments. Always striving for balance! I'll get there one day 😁😁😁😁

  • A very brave & generous offer. I think this is a great idea, Hannah. But first, enjoy your son. Have a wonderful week with him.

  • Novel Allen2 months ago

    I am barely holding up on the reading, barely holding up on anything. I hope you get the time to do it all, best of luck.

  • Kenny Penn2 months ago

    Great idea Hannah! I’m open to it! Here is mine: https://vocal.media/fiction/the-softest-hands Let me know which you would like critique on 😊

  • Lana V Lynx2 months ago

    This is such a generous offer, Hannah, and I hope you find pleasure in this exercise.

  • D.K. Shepard2 months ago

    Sounds like a worthwhile pivot! Hope you enjoy a change up! If I make it to the next round of the NYCmidnight short story contest I’d love a critique on whatever my next piece is! Big IF though

  • Dana Crandell2 months ago

    A very brave offer. As it happens, I just published a new one before reading this and it's a short one, to boot. I always appreciate your comments and I promise not to break down too badly if you want to hammer on this one: https://vocal.media/poets/harbingers

  • Rachel Deeming2 months ago

    I think this a very nice offer. I will miss you on my comments but know that this is because you are inundated with people who will benefit from your critique. And you're a writer - of course you can critique! John has already offered, I see, so you are up and running. Good luck!

  • John Cox2 months ago

    This is a both gracious and courageous offer, Hannah. I would very much appreciate a critical eye from a writer whom I greatly admire, but I also do not wish to impinge on your time. If you have time, please read my story The Rain. If you don’t have the time, I promise I will not be offended. And I welcome criticism. I cannot hope to grow as a writer without it.

  • Celia in Underland2 months ago

    Fab idea Hope it goes well! Sure it will 🤍

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