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The tag is for questions about the writing process of a particular author or a particular piece of literature. It currently has 5 extant questions but also 23 closed/deleted questions which almost all seem to be from people who assume they can ask questions about actually writing their own literature here. (The search that I used to find these only works for diamond moderators, unfortunately, but you can get an approximation from this chat search.)

It makes sense that a tag with a name like would be misused in this way. If people somehow end up on this site and think they can ask about creating literature here, the existence of such a tag (findable when they type "writing" into the tag box) would only encourage them in that belief.

Should we remove (or rename) this tag? Do we think it's acting as a magnet for off-topic questions? Or is it still worth keeping as long as we keep closing and deleting any inappropriate questions in this tag?

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Personally, I'd vote to retain it as is for the following reasons.

  • It's clearly a useful tag in terms of filtering questions about how authors went about their work which is, in turn, a useful topic. I can't see any realistic way in which we can rename it that will make it clear it's only for "professional" or "studied" authors and not for budding authors asking for help.

  • Self-help for budding authors is not on-topic for this site, but there's a whole other community, WritingSE, which exists for that purpose. The fact both exist side by side is bound to result in some misunderstandings and cross traffic between the two. We currently handle this without issue, so dealing with requests for help clearly isn't a problem for existing moderators.

  • Given the above, removing writing-process isn't going to do anything to reduce that flow of traffic. No-one is going to be discouraged from posting just because they don't find a tag that matches, especially if they're unfamiliar with the wider SE community and how it works.

As such, removing or renaming the tag seems likely to remove a small but useful piece of functionality on our site while doing little to improve the problem of self-help questions.

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