You have asked for a kick in the ass, and I am going to provide a kick in the ass. I’ve been mentally tossing around starting this for a bit, but Lacie’s comment was the tipping point.
I am starting a multi-dimensional online writing project. It’s going to be a listserv as well as random posts. And it’s called Prompt-ly.
Wait, you say. I am already part of an online writing group. Well, this is not actually an online writing group. If you want to do that, I think you should join the one at Too Many Fish to Fry called the Pomegranate Society (leave a comment in that post to be added to that online writing workshop). That’s a place to exchange actual pieces of writing and support each other in publishing efforts.
This is not that.
What Prompt-ly is:
- A listserv with blog prompts and other writing project ideas presented by me as well as other members. In other words, all members can float out a random question that people can use as a diving board for a post (such as: “what is the scariest thing you’ve ever done?”). There may be one prompt a day or there may be many. You pick and choose if you want to use them or delete them.
- A receptacle to pass along hot news stories that you think others might like to write about too [this is the listserv].
- An email list where you can debate hot ideas and see if they’re actually post-worthy [this is the listserv].
- A space to send a blog post url and ask for feedback about a post that didn’t get a lot of comments [this is the listserv].
- A space to say: “crappers, I’m about to post this but want a second opinion before it goes live because I’m worried I may offend people.” [this is the listserv].
- And every once in a while, Prompt-ly will be a blog post that will pass along ideas on publishing news or how-to advice, all coming from authors, publishers, editors, and agents. I’ll collect up questions and answer them. Or it will simply be a writing exercise or idea to light a brand new fire under your ass [these are the blog posts].
See, listserv and blog posts.
You don’t need to join the listserv to participate, BUT I have a feeling that the majority of the information will be passed along in that space vs. here on Stirrup Queens. This is the group’s homepage:
Just click there if you want to join. All members will be approved in order to keep spam off the list. The membership request asks you to provide your blog url if you have one. You don’t need to have a blog to join since some people will be using the list to work on other writing projects such as books or magazine articles.
The list is open, meaning; the majority of members will probably come from the ALI community simply because I am in the ALI community, and I can keep the list ALI-friendly as the moderator. But anyone is welcome to join: men, women, young, old, gay, straight, talented, and total bores. By which I mean that I’ll obviously float IF-related news stories to the list, but I also may float something interesting I read on Jezebel that someone might want to use as a springboard to a blog post.
Here are things that are okay to post on the list:
- Blog post prompts.
- Links to news stories or opinion posts that may spark a blog post idea for another person.
- Whole posts you want an opinion on before you hit publish (not everyone will answer you, but hopefully one or two will give you their opinion).
- A link to your own blog post that you’d like some feedback on.
- Questions about writing or publishing.
- Questions about blogging — from the technical side of things such as which software to use to thoughts about social media sites to worries about commenting etiquette.
- Questions about a hot idea that you want to write about but want some feedback on first.
- Personal writing, publishing, or book news.
Here are things that are not okay to do on the list:
- Berate or belittle someone.
- Offer non-constructive criticism.
- Steal another person’s idea and claim it as your own.
- Only use the list to promote your own work without giving back anything to the community by way of throwing out ideas or giving someone else feedback. In other words, if you’re sending news about your book to the list, you must also participate in other ways such as answering people’s questions. It’s a community — help has to flow in all directions.
- This is also not a writing workshop (see the link above to Too Many Fish to Fry if you’re interested in that).
The posts will be infrequent (maybe once a month or every other week). But if you do have specific writing questions that weren’t answered my DIY MFA series, especially ones about the how-tos of blogging, traffic building, of commenting, send them my way in an email with Prompt-ly in the subject line and I’ll answer it in the next post.
So that’s it. Prompt-ly. A fire lit under your ass to get you to write more. Because the only way to become a good writer is to actually do it.