“If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.”
~ Dr. Carl Sagan
A warm welcome, dear visitor, to Ampersand. I am sure that, if you are reading this post, you’ve also read the little subtitle underneath our blog name. (If you haven’t, you may as well do so now.) Currently, most of our community is situated within the middle of suburban nowhere. That does not, however, mean that we will shun any writer who wishes to join our ranks. Writing is an art that spans eons and continents. It just so happens that, with the advent of the Internet, and the advent of the blog, and the advent of WordPress, it is incredibly convenient for us to distribute our end results.
So! What does it take to become a part of our humble roster? A small set of obligations:
First off, you must write. And you must write passionately; we’re not going to critique lab reports, or spell-check an essay for English, or help you with trigonometry homework. There are other communities like that out there, possibly even a few on WordPress. (If not, Google is sure to give you approximately 1,935,200 appropriate results in 0.031 seconds.) Try to steer clear of the genre fiction realm—we like realistic fiction here, the stuff of mango streets and woman warriors. After all, is there not truth in lies by the writer’s pen?
Secondly, you should strive to submit your work on a semimonthly or even (if you’re among those precious few who consider writing “easy”) weekly basis. A good writer composes often and questions daily; for those who wish to commit to the craft, there is no such thing as “taking a break.” And besides, you wouldn’t want to leave readers on a cliffhanger—here, at least, we’d consider it rude!
Thirdly, you must be open to criticism and negative reviews. We’re not like FanFiction, mind you (the link for those of you who don’t get the reference); wonderful site that may be, but mostly populated by fanboys, fangirls, and the rest of their ilk, who could never give a good breakdown of a story they had read if their life depended on it. When we critique work, we critique work—and you will (or should, at the very least) get an honest and sometimes blunt opinion on it.
And fourth, you need to have some sort of interest in writing, be it short-term or long-term. Whether you decide to become a lawyer or a doctor or a janitor instead of a writer is completely your choice, and it won’t affect anything here. But it’ll make things easier for us, not to mention yourself, if you write with genuine intent. Be it dreamscape, reality, your life or that of someone else—write what you want to write, write what you mean to write. None of that WPA bullshit you have to endure at least once (or, gods help you, twice) in your junior or senior year.
I’m sure there are other things to consider too. But for the time being, that’s all I can remember. And ultimately, that’s all that really matters.
Come, join us, and become a part of a little band of misfits and writers!