Knowing the Writing World You Face

Writer to Writer

This post was written by Stephen A. Roddewig.

We writers are a strange bunch. Many of us are raised in a culture that lauds competition and exceptionalism. Indeed, the sheerer the slope, the more exceptional you must be to climb it, yet we confront a space as contested and conflicted as the writing sphere and believe that somehow our voice will stand out among millions.

What even is the writing sphere? It’s a market that has been uprooted by the Internet and forced to reevaluate its identity. The same trend has forced writing itself into conflict, as scholars debate where high literature ends and popular culture begins. More progressive voices argue that even discussing such a distinction is pointless. Meanwhile, mass communication has started to rewrite the rules through blogs and online journals.

None of this is to say that these changes are bad. From the populist perspective, the…

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