The roots of this WordPress site comes from a desire to discuss writings in an environment of other people. Said simply, it is kind of like a book club, but not with cookies and coffee, and not with Oprah’s pick of the week. My hopes are to facilitate a forum that a group can get together, regardless of proximity, and trade thoughts, ideas and criticism surrounding a variety of texts.
My hopes are that this group can use this asynchronous venue to alleviate the stresses of time that plague us all. We would then be able to discuss texts in a way that is meaningful and not rushed or a burden to fit into our busy schedules. Furthermore, distance separating contributors is not a factor. I think of all of the people that I would love to sit down over a drink to talk about the latest read and they do not necessarily live in my neck of the woods. It would be an amazing opportunity to find out what people think of a particular piece of writing when they are coming from a different perspective, either professionally or personally.
One of the big challenges is to find writings that subscribers find worthy of reading and will take the time to comment on. I dream of eventually having a number of different texts on the go at one time in a variety of fields; fiction, non-fiction, articles, criticism. With enough interest, members could pick which they would like to participate in and, if they chose, lurk and read the postings regarding the other material. In the beginning, I need to start small. A short current event article that invitees can respond to should prove non-intimidating enough to generate discussion. From there, we will just have to see how it evolves.
It is time for me to practice what I preach. In studying literature, the more I wrote the easier writing became. I tell that to my students all of the time. Writing a daily blog has never really appealed to me, but responding to literature with people from all over the world, now that is appealing. Perhaps this site could be seen as what I most miss about being in school; reading a common text with a bunch of intelligent people and writing about it for them all to see, without the pressure of grades of course.
Well, the worst that could happen is that I tried. The best is the creation of an on-line community whose existence makes the participants better readers and better writers.