Is Writing About Writing Really Forbidden?


Over at Electric Literature, Kristopher Jansma wonders why we tell students to avoid writing about writing. Perhaps, he suggests, we tell students not to write about writing because we think they should be going out and getting new experiences to write about. But maybe, he thinks, that’s not such a worthwhile approach to take:

You don’t need to board a ship or inhale a pharmacy or stick your head in an oven – at least not in the name of being a better writer. Life will do its thing, one way or the other – the question is, once it does, will you have been practicing? Can you turn that into something permanent and beautiful? Can you write about what you’ll know – as well as the many things you won’t? Can you write so well that nobody can tell the difference?

Kathryn Sukalich is a Wisconsin native living in Oregon. She received an MFA in Creative Writing and Environment from Iowa State University. You can find her online at More from this author →