Heffalumps and Woozles (Writers and Readers)

I just want you all to know I’ve got Winnie the Pooh on my mind:

Heffalumps and Woozles: They’re black they’re brown, they’re up, they’re down They’re in, they’re out they’re all about, They’re far, they’re near they’re gone, they’re here! They’re quick and slick they’re insincere Beware! Beware! Be a very wary bear A heffalump or woozle is very confusil A heffalump or woozle’s very sly! (sly) (sly) (sly) They come in ones and twosles but If they so choosles Before your eyes you’ll see them -multiply (ply) (ply) (ply)

Writers and Readers. Heffalumps and Woozles. What do they have in common? “They come in ones and twosles,” that’s what. They need each other (I’m conveniently ignoring the bit about them being quick, slick, and insincere).

Composition theorist Peter Elbow agrees:

People who get better and get published really tend to be driven by how much they care about their writing. Yes, they have a small audience at first–after all, they’re not very good. But they try reader after reader until finally they can find people who like and appreciate their writing…It may sound so far as though all the effort and drive comes from the lonely driven writer…but, often enough, readers play the crucially active story of how writers get better.

 Also, I’ll have a readable second draft of my novel ready by the end of December. Hint, hint.

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