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INTENT TO WITHHOLD, a Craft Essay by Alisa A. Gaston • Cleaver Magazine
Soon after I moved from Denver to Loveland, Colorado—a town of close to sixty-five thousand people and an odd mixture of artists, retirees, and hicks—I agreed to hold a series of one-on-one creative writing workshops for a twelve-year-old girl. Once I set everything into place, her mother phoned and explained that she wanted me to give her daughter feedback on her writing, yet above all, she wanted me to discourage her from becoming a writer. She wanted me to verbally agree to this proposal, this instruction to put an end to her daughter’s dream. I somewhat addressed the mother’s request—I told her that the writing industry is quite competitive and can be challenging to break into and that I could explain this to her daughter.