#StoryCraft Goes Monthly, and Googly!
Hello #storycrafters and friends! Kim (who has written her own note, below) and I have been putting in a lot of thought and Skype time between Australia and New Zealand, and we have decided on some changes for #StoryCraft - at least, for our contributions to the community via Twitter.
Three years ago, #Storycraft started in response to what seemed to be a trend of writing chats to focus more on querying agents, self-publishing advice, and generally talk about anything but how to write well. We quickly developed a core group of participants, and a core group of lurkers, who shared the desire to improve our craft. Many of those who came to the first few chats are still with us now, and Kim and I cherish being a part of that community, so we want to make sure that we focus on the needs and desires of those who really do want to improve their own work, while helping others do the same.
The problem is, Kim and I don't think Twitter is serving the group as well as it used to - for two main reasons:
1) Let's face it, 140 characters or less was only ever going to allow us a relatively shallow discussion on what is a complex topic. While the regular get-together aspect is fun and important for the community, we know we have all found ourselves in the midst of misunderstandings, or seeing the same people say the same things whenever a topic arrives (apparently some people are cutting and pasting from previous chats!) Kim and I would really like it if we could have a place where the whole community can contribute links and information and discuss it in more depth, between chats.
2) More and more, Twitter is being flooded with "authorpreneurs" (my word - don't blame Kim!) These writers - however good or bad their work might be - are not interested in having conversations, or even providing an interesting information service (which is essentially what #storycraft is) and are only on Twitter to promote themselves (or others in exchange for promoting them, in return.) Don't get me wrong, it's not that I think Twitter should not be part of an author's "platform", but I prefer the sublter method of being interesting enough that people will look up your profile to find out what you have to offer, over the BUY MY BOOK! or BUY THIS GUY'S BOOK BECAUSE THEN HE'LL SHOUT AT YOU TO BUY MY BOOK! approach.
Spamming hashtags is a common "marketing method", now, and though our hashtag hasn't been discovered by too many of these people, yet, it is starting and there is nothing we can do, because Twitter is, at its heart, a giant Soap-Box Corner.
So here's what Kim and I have come up with:
#StoryCraft chat on Twitter will now be hosted only once a month - on the first Sunday of each month. We will host together, and we will try to have a guest to bring in some specific expertise, to make the Twitter chat that little bit special (and to keep away the "editorpreneurs" who mistake a chat between equals as one that needs someone to boof in and be The Expert!)
In between chats, Kim and I will continue to share links to good resources for writers, using the #storycraft hashtag, but we will also share those links elsewhere online.
Elsewhere online: The Facebook Page will continue to be a source of useful links and community information, and discussion when you guys feel so inclined.
A Google+ Community has been created and is being tweaked before it goes live. If you would like an invitation to the Community, do paste your Google+ and/or email information in the discussion, below, or contact me privately via email or any one of the links on this page.
So, next #StoryCraft chat will be Sunday, August 4th at 6pm US Eastern time. I hope we'll see you all there, and in the mean time on Facebook or Google+ keep an eye on this blog for news on that!
Hi #storycrafters and friends
I agree with everything Darcy mentioned above. I would like to add that there is nothing better to breathe life into a community than a fresh change of direction. I also love the idea of a private community on G+ - one where discussion can be elaborated on in a larger sphere than a string of just 140 words. Darcy and I believe in #storycraft 100% and feel that this fresh change of direction or perhaps - a refocusing of intention would be a better way to describe it - will breathe new life into our little #storycraft community. We have some very cool things coming up for all of you and we can't wait for you all to join us in the new #storycraft direction. Make sure you sign up to this blog to keep up to date with all future chats and happenings. In the meantime, though we will be hosting a monthly chat (the first Sunday of every month), feel free to continue to meet up in the twitter #storycraft chat. But if you want more in-depth conversation and discussion - Googly *I love this term Darcy* G+ is the place to join in.
Chat to you all on Sunday, August the 4th. Until then as Darcy says Happy Writing...