02 June 2005

Hurt Feelings

I've enjoyed my time as editor of SPEWS this year but am glad it's almost over. My no- nonsense (unless it's fun nonsense) approach to my position has left some feathers ruffled in the student, faculty, and community spheres. I don't really care to share names, but it's not something I do on purpose.

Writers are fickle beasts. We put pounds and pounds of Ezra effort into our work. Sometimes we welcome others' feedback or corrections. Other times we hate the critic for not sharing what we consider our vision of genius. This is just one of the reasons I've hurt feelings this year as editor. I'm fine with that; I need to adhere to my own vision for the site. I tried several times to solicit input from crew, but they just gave me a "whatever works for me" response. So, I went full bore and made the stylistic decisions.

Then there's the feeling of exclusion. I never mean to exclude. In fact, my main problem with the site has been its exclusion of all those who aren't English majors. Many great writers exist outside of our department. On the other hand, I understand the need for this strict focus, or "laser beam" as Robert puts it. We aren't so easily sidetracked or overinundated with contest entries and what not. The Second Annual Ed Versluis Writing Contest already has the judges scrambling to make their decisions by tomorrow. With 76 poems, 24 short fiction, and 14 nonfiction pieces, all from E&W, can you imagine the daunting task of judging even more?

Well, I hope most of the people I've worked with this year don't have too bitter of a taste in their mouths when I'm gone. I hope it's more of a fruity aftertaste that leaves them wanting more.


Robert Casserly said...

If you hadn't hurt some feelings,I would be positive you hadn't done your job as editor. It's inevitable with ANY managment job done well, and yes, "artistes" are particularily fickle and prickly creatures, so even easier to "hurt" than people who are more logical. IMHO, you've done some of the fancypants pussyfoots around the E&W Dept. a favor if they've learned sooner rather than later that the real world won't always enbable a fairy-tale life for them, the false hope of "anything you want, it's all about you" and all that mollycoddling bullcrap.

Ooo rah!

Kyle Stich said...

Robert, your comments for "Hurt Feelings" are particularly fun to read. Not so much for the consolation effect, more for the choice of words: fickle, prickly, fancypants, mollycoddling...

Anonymous said...

I am sorry that your approach to SPEWS has ruffled feathers. Maybe those who have ruffleld feathers needed it. I hope you don't feel that I have ruffled feathers in any way. I don't. I have loved working with you this term. I like your style, and understand the reasons for focusing on the English department rather than others(I will admit at first I was unsure why, but after understanding more of what goes into SPEWS, I completely agree that if it was expanded into other departments, too many other problems occur).

Ruffling feathers is something that I have had experience with, I never do things by the book or in a conventional way -- it is not in my nature. In fact, I was saddened to hear how you are feeling because what you describe is exactly what I was going through before I left my old college last year--and the feeling sucks. It is hard to move away from something that so much of your time and being has gone into.

If nothing else, know that I respect and value your opinion and friendship on the highest level. None of this is anything that will make you feel a whole lot better, but I hope will make you feel that not all of us that have been involved with SPEWS feel the same way. I definately have a "fruity aftertase in my mouth"!


Kyle Stich said...

Well, Shannon, I certainly have some sense of pride in ruffling feathers. Like Robert says, I "wouldn't have done [my] job as editor" if I hadn't. It's a cathartic feeling.

I'm glad to hear I left a "fruity aftertaste in your mouth."