I will admit that I was reluctant to read Shelley Jackson’s piece, “Stitch Bitch”, especially after hearing the reviews of some of my peers; however, I enjoyed and valued her message.
From the beginning Jackson warned her readers what her writing would be like. She began her sixth chapter with the sentence, “My favorite writing is impure, improper, and disorienting.” And Jackson does a very good job replicating that style of writing. While some may be put off by her honest, random, and almost rambling style, I found it similar to successful authors like Chuck Palahniuk, David Sedaris, and Chuck Klosterman – authors that, while disliked by some, offer an interesting and different perspective to the literary world.
What makes Jackson’s piece so interesting is that in the midst of talking about a very random topic – hypertext – she manages to give some incredibly sound advice: “Write about what interests you, no matter how sniffy the world gets…Write in whatever WAY interests you…Read everything…You can’t let other people decide what is important to think or write about.” I’m glad we read this piece so early in the semester. Jackson’s advice is very applicable to what we are doing and I think it is a good reminder to keep our mind open throughout this program.
While many people may think that Jackson is crazy, she is clearly just taking her own advice; do things the way that you want to do them, even if others think it’s wrong. Stop giving a shit what they think. Again, I believe this way of thinking is good in graduate school, especially one that already tests and pushes the boundaries of existing media.