In today’s Times, Carol Midgely says it is women’s magazines that are the worst culprits in feeding women’s obsession with trivialities. Endless features on appearance, clothes, ‘beauty’ treatments, plastic surgery ops to keep looking ‘good’, botox. They are, she says filled with articles on ‘which celebrity has put on a little weight’, who has ‘wrinkly knees’. (Don’t laugh. A recent magazine felt it worth spending column inches on the state of singer Lulu’s knees.)
But don’t bash the mags. They need to sell, and they do. By the million.
All they are doing is feeding the monkeys what they like best. Because, Carol M says, “they are overwhelmingly bought by women who gorge on the details like famished dogs on a bone.”
THANK YOU CAROL!
Now. Flip mentally to the FICTION that might occasionally appear in these magazines. Or mags like them, aimed at the same market.
And, imagine a writer who writes that stuff working in a writing group focussing on literary fiction (whatever that is… but it sure ain’t what appears in these things). And wait for the sparks to fly. In both directions.
How unpopular I have made myself, many many times… because I would NOT have womag writers in The Workhouse. Or for that matter, any writer focussing on ‘pulp’ genre work. Maybe it will change now, but I hope not.
It’s not a popular notion, but I believe that writers need to work with other writers working in the same broad area. Because then, they are speaking the same language when giving and receiving critiques.
Sure, mix it up for a bit of fun, exposure to other genres if they interest you. But then find your own kind and grow.
Think about poetry, if it helps. Would you expect a writer who wanted to compose rhyming couplets for birthday cards to contribute well to a group of award-winning contemporary poets?
And would the contemporary poets spend hours discussing the merits or otherwise of:
When I look into your eyes,
My love is true, my dear,
It’s being with you every day
That makes me glad I’m here.
I don’t think so.
Rest my case. For both parties, the marriage would be dreadful.
Carol Midgely’s article HERE
PS: Hey… you can get money for poems like that… where’s the phone book…