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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Member # 59

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This is a link to an article about writing and reading and audiences and how we need to express ourselves, even if we don't know how, and a bunch of other good stuff.

I agree with the agent who tweeted about it (so I found out about it), that it is something writers should read.

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Member # 9345

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Interesting take on frustration with the inability to express, but more with the inability to be heard. (Well, look at any angry toddler who can't make you understand what he's saying...)
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Matt de la Peña made a promise to Joshua he neglected. He said he'd take a look at Joshua's manuscript and get back to him. Joshua said he timely wanted the manuscript back. In the several weeks after Peña took the manuscript, Joshua disappeared. Peña had a duty to understand Joshua's situation and communicate clearly with Joshua. Joshua was in crisis, and his last effort to meaningfully connect to society through writing Peña disappointed.

Peña's writing and promotional lectures serve that very function, but socially connecting from telling audiences how writing is meaningful. He overlooked that writing is a two-way conversation and overlooked his duty--and not too coincidentally his promotional privileges--as a successful writer to pay back, pay forward, and give a hand up to struggling writers of his ethnicity and ethnic audience.

Peña's neglect of his social responsibility is even more profound as a successful writer, since he writes for the very audience Joshua represents: troubled, at risk, inner city, young adult Hispanic males, and the very background Peña comes from.

Fame and fortune are not mere privileges, they are awesome duties as well.

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