I would like to strongly support one of our second year students who has written this direct and honest comment on why he thinks it is a really valuable exercise for us to be commenting on the journals of others doing literature at ACU.... and did you know that you do actually get marks for your interactivity with others!!!!. Here is what John Mahoney wrote (thank you John!):
" We (the ACU Lit students) are adults (or close enough) and should be willing to express ourselves not only in our own journals but in others. If the comment is too offensive I believe the owner can delete it or block it (or some such) so why not take the risk? Post something on someone else’s journal! Even if what you post seems stupid, I'm sure I can speak for most when I say, feedback is welcome. As students we should be striving to encourage each other in our works. If someone writes something creative there is this myth that it belongs to them. It doesn't, by posting it on LJ (or publishing it in any form) it is now public knowledge. Read it, think about it and then comment.
" Obviously we don't all have massive amounts of time to be endlessly reading LJ and commenting thesis length responses. So don't, pick a different LJ every week to write on, if you don't see anything worth commenting on, comment on that! Something like "Hey (insert name here) I feel that you really could have done more with your LJ this week. You had a cool idea, why didn't you explore it more?" or the like. It's not huge but it lets people know their work is being read and it will (hopefully) encourage them to write more. I mean, part of the reason for doing LJ and commenting are (let's be honest) the marks. If it wasn't graded we wouldn't do it. But let's not let that stop us from utilizing this opportunity. You have a vast group of (becoming) educated readers out there. It is a huge asset to have so many minds (potentially) reading your work and then giving feedback, encouragement, direction or (and this is the tricky one) criticism. I can only speak for myself but let me just say
" I would rather have hugely negative criticism than silence.
" Hopefully there are others who can say the same thing. Let yourself out there a little bit, not just in you posts but also in the comments you give others. Dare to critique, Dare to encourage, Dare to say something people won't like but which may lead them to being better writers. Dare to Disagree.
" Thanks for reading, sorry for the rant."
You can explore John's whole, very original and creative journal at http://john-mahoney.livejournal.com/