writers write. right?
That's how it used to be, anyway. Now it feels like writers are more about publishing and formatting and marketing and networking, they're all algorithms and keywords and trending-genres and author platforms and social media presence.
Story has become secondary, and it's breaking my heart.
I want to read stories that MATTER - not in the grand scheme of things, but to their author.
Because it if doesn't matter to the writer, why the Chuck should it matter to the reader??
I want to write stories that matter, write them from my heart and soul and all the intangible places where honesty lives, unfiltered by what's popular, what's selling, what's industry standard, what's 'realistic.' I want to turn my back on the people who tell me how it SHOULD be done, and I want to surround myself with writers who do the same.
How will that help?
I have to believe that if I can get people to tell STORIES again, stories they want to tell (not stories they think are on-trend, or easy to crank out for a rapid-release strategy, or that will appeal to an audience with deeper pockets,) if I can foster and encourage the love of writing and the tale to be told -- then maybe, together, we can change the industry ... if only a little.
Maybe that won't happen. But along the way we'll be providing readers with more options for books that are not mass-produced formula novels, stories they can see themselves in as they ARE, stories they'll care about ... and how is that bad? Even if all I manage to do is help some writers find their own voice in a sea of others, help them find (or remember) the joy and excitement of writing a story that did not exist in the world until they wrote it, help them tell the stories that are important to them -- that's a win, right there. For me AND you.
nice thought. But What about reality?
There are those would say that by encouraging writers to write what they love, I am doing them a disservice. They would insist that the writer has an obligation to please the reader. I agree that the reader is an important part of the writer/reader relationship, but I ABSOLUTELY do not believe the reader has ANY place in the initial telling of a tale. Nope. I’ll defend that til the end, and I’ll tell you why.
There are 7 billion people on this planet. Say 6 billion readers. If you write what you love, sheer statistical probability says there will be others who love it too, so stop worrying and WRITE THAT SHIT. Later, when the draft is done and it’s time to edit it … THEN you can think about the readers. THEN you can think about the business and the strength or flexibility of the tale you've told. NOT BEFORE.
I'm about to propose something utterly insane.
Let's just ... tell the damn story.
You and me.
We'll do it. We'll be rebels, together, bringing authenticity back.
We'll tell this "new normal" to go eat a bee, and we'll write stories for the love of writing - and reading.
We'll close the door, block out the rest of the voices, and listen to the stories that want to be told, that are asking us to tell them.
but wait there's more!
(i've always wanted to say that)
I created the DraftCrafting Community on the MightyNetworks platform to foster a group environment free from the distractions and hostility of that other social media site.
It's hard to focus on the writing and the writers when every other notification is a political rant, family drama, someone sharing a post just to be qualified to win something, or worse, another writer group where everyone's talking about the proper way to do ... everything - from sentences to sales pitches.
It's OUR treehouse, with a "No Shoulds Allowed" sign on the door.
WHAT YOU GET AS A COMMUNITY MEMBER
Writers Like You: Whether you're Eager, Experienced, or Extra, there are other writers who "get it." Who understand being intimidated or overwhelmed or distracted or so engrossed in their story they forgot to eat. Writers who will cheer your efforts, share their own experiences, and never judge you when the muse goes on vacation or the shoulds sneak in. (I'm one of those writers!)
Tips, tools, and resources: The library is always growing. We've got recommendations for software, apps, and techniques, we've got worksheets and motivational posters ... even eBooks! (Latest Addition: Rolling Their Bones, a comprehensive collection of dice-based generators for character and world creation. Sold Separately Here, included with monthly membership.)
Prompts and Challenges: The prompts are there every other day - sometimes it's a phrase, sometimes it's a picture. What you do with it is up to you. The challenges - well, those are in the gates, waiting for a few more people, but there will be something for everyone. Think scavenger hunts, writing habit building, word count tracking, etc.
Office Hours: This is where I hang out between coaching sessions, and have weekly check-ins with clients - when I'm not working with them, I'm right there with y'all, writing the words! (2 months of community membership fee is included in the 10 Week Adventure!)
NaNoWriMo Support: Not everyone does National Novel Writing Month in November, but I do - and when my local group proved less than enthusiastic, I decided to bring the fun to my fellow DraftCrafters. Oh, have I got plans for y'all ... starting in October, it's going to be NaNo Central up in here!
Coming Soon: COURSES. I love teaching stuff, especially writing stuff, and MightyNetworks just made it ridiculously easy for me to deliver courses to Community members. (There will never be an additional fee for those.) I can't wait to get one up and running!
MEMBERSHIP IS LIMITED TO 100 WRITERS
This is designed to be a close-knit, judgement-free, supportive group of writers who are excited to be writing, invested in each other, and fully committed to their own process.
I have a hard time seeing how that can happen when there are so many people you can't remember their names, let alone their faces or their stories or what makes them unique.
I had this vision of a cultivated community of writers who love writing, who love stories, and who value readers as people, not wallets. I went looking for writers who support and validate and build each other up, but ... I couldn't find that group. So I made it.