So, what's this all about, then?
Using Our Words is a weekly writing exercise blog created by a group of friends, for the self-same group of friends (and anyone else who wants an in). At the beginning of each week, a topic will be posted. By the end of the week, all participants will post their response to the topic, or some other piece of writing they've worked on for the week.
All written forms are allowed for submission--poetry, short stories, chapters for longer stories, fiction, nonfiction, (auto)biography, historical work, fairy tales, articles, wandering thoughts, anything you want, any length you want.
The Topic of the Week is not a mandatory topic--it's a suggested guideline for people who may want to have an idea to get them going. If you have something else you'd rather write about, go ahead and write it. Otherwise, it's pretty amazing to see all the different directions a group of people can take with a single idea.
So, what are the rules that will (hopefully) prevent us from delving into chaos?
The most important thing, folks, is to be respectful and courteous of one another. We are all very different from one another, and so we may not always agree with, or even like, what the rest of us write. And if you disagree with someone, you are free to say so--but there will be no flaming, there will be no bashing, there will be nothing to discourage posters from posting. This is supposed to be an exercise in fun, not in holier-than-thou know-it-all-ness.
Even as we discourage outright negativity (eg. YOU SUCK, YOUR WRITING SUCKS, YOU'RE STUPID, etc etc), we DO encourage constructive criticism, since the only way to know what other people think of your writing is to hear them say it. If you think something can be improved upon, and if you have a suggestion for implementing said improvement, please, say something! This isn't a circle jerk--none of us write perfectly, and we deserve the chance to become better writers, or at the very least to hear how our writing is viewed by people besides our own damn selves. You want people to take you seriously? Give good critique, and be a good recipient. Also, please remember: If you're gonna dish it, please be prepared to take it when it is dished back your way.
More rules will be added if we need to add them, but hopefully that won't happen. Whenever there is an update to the rules, we will let you know with a new entry.