To mete or not to mete? That is the question…

And so is: my self, or not my self? And most importantly, what happens when a writer’s private life interrupts public perception?


Photo Credit:  Cristian Baitg/

Ten days ago, Joe Yonan the food critic for The Washington Post, announced his intention to become a vegetarian.  “A former omnivore comes out as vegetarian” is an interesting article for both Writing About Food students as well as Composing Self writers. First, this is manifesto-like in its strong stance that a writer’s personal habits shouldn’t be perceived as a detriment to fulfilling his job. “Eat and let eat,” Joe Yonan petitions.  Connections to the Writing About Food class seem obvious. Composing Self students, consider the implications when a writer’s personal or health beliefs bleed into the professional realm.  Should a writer limit him or herself? Disclose all biases? Try to sway others to join in the change?

Lest you creative writers think there’s nothing in here for you to advance your skills, I challenge that notion.  How might this kind of real life dilemma spark a similar conflict for one of your own short fictions?

About Catherine Keefe

Catherine Keefe is the founding and managing editor of *dirtcakes* a journal of poetry, creative nonfiction, art and photography. Her creative nonfiction essays, interviews and book reviews have appeared nationally. She teaches undergraduates how to Write About Literature, or Write Creative Nonfiction, or Compose Self at Chapman University in Orange, CA.
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