Ethan Wolfe: Writer to Writer Sweetland Event

On Tuesday evening, I attended the Writer to Writer event at Literati hosted by Sweetland. The event featured a moderated discussion between Sweetland staff and dance historian Clare Croft, who also teaches at the University. The conversation included Croft reading passages from her previous and upcoming work, as well as how she came about approaching her writing and other scholarly advice. Initially, it was difficult for me to engage in the conversation because I was not particularly interested in the topic of dance and contemporary history, but some of her overarching messages proved to be universally relevant and beneficial. What stood out the most was when she remarked that “objectivity isn’t possible” — an idea that was debated in the gateway course. Croft continued this idea, stating that all writing, even for historical purpose, requires a deeper meaning that illustrates how the author thinks about presenting information, and any attempt at objectivity distorts the necessity of detail. On a similar chord, Croft noted that writing isn’t necessarily about communicating the truth, but rather a method of engagement. A final universal remark she shared was her feelings about the transition into online writing. While she believes written word will not become obsolete, the internet opened the floodgates to beautiful longform essays. The internet also became a platform for writers actually committed to their respective topics, as compensation isn’t as much and there is more competition. Overall, Croft offered a number of great tips for writing amidst her discussion of her work with dance history, and truly cemented the idea that combining external passions with writing will generate your best work.

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