I'd like to start off by WELCOMING anyone reading. We suspect people here today have followed one of our individual members in, so you may have some idea of what to expect, but collectively we're rather a curious bunch. The bio page will give a little depth about each of the planned contributors, but I want to start off with a brief history of our collective self.
(Otherwise known as 'the Scottish Book') Most of us met at the now defunct Steinbeck Café—a writing forum at HPANA. A few driven and organized folks (read: NOT me) invited a few hangers on who carry a mix of the silly and the serious (read: THERE I AM!), with the primary criteria being 'serious about writing' and 'capable of contributing to the writing growth of peers'. We (read: Jason) built a closed forum for us to exchange material, give feedback, and frankly... bond—this was in spring of 2007. There is a lot of trust involved with sharing early work with the goal of improvement. It's safe to say we've managed.
website in December 2008, in conjunction with the project (archives of which are still on the site).
Weather made it smallish, but the learning curve, sharp as it was, taught us we can do REALLY BIG stuff if we put our minds to it!
In the meantime, we continued writing our own stuff. I finished my first book (200K--yes, I'm a silly goose who had no clue) and I reached a place I felt I needed to BLOG to get my name out there and start networking. Rayna had already been blogging for a time, and Chary and Jen too, had some experience, but I dragged a few more along for the ride (Mari and Tara)... and careers trickled forward... A few more novels done, a few more experiences had... and the time has come... the writing is on the wall... it was time for a collective blog...
And there you have it. We have a plan... but I've been solidly thunked in the head that this is no place for me to spill everybody else's secrets... so I will just say there are otters, giraffes, an elephant and a llama involved and leave it at that. Before the end, you just might know another language (Taff is fairly complicated, but we are sure you can pick it up).
One big giant example of this pulling together we've managed was a June WriMo that grew from 7 interested Burrowers to 110 people (split personalities notwithstanding). We held it on Facebook—figuring no matter WHERE we held it people would need to join SOMETHING, and a lot of writers already have Facebook profiles.
We had the good fortune to have a BIGGER BLOGGER (Inkygirl) pick us up and tell HER (400+) readers, which helped a TON, and we badgered all our friends (always helpful—never underestimate the power of this in your OWN world), but whatever the case, it was a fabulous success.
Some trivia: As always, a few people talked a whole bunch, while a LOT of people just got down to the business of writing. I find this option to dive into support though, is the great strength of WriMos. So THANK YOU everyone who participated in the discussion boards and encouraged people, no matter how well or poorly they were doing!
Lisa got a Puppy! SQUEEEEEE!
James' 'Oz conference' was hit by a tornado (there is really too much irony there to wrap my mind around)
Others experienced life—sometimes it threw a wrench in the writing, sometimes they made it anyway.
Let me go into geek mode for a moment and just give you some stats...
Disclaimer: there are some secretive sorts who never DID tell us what they were up to... we cannot be blamed if they were writing Vampire books. But it ALSO means the numbers I have to share are based only on partial reporting—stats are only as good as the data, ne?
Genres Covered: Childen's Lit, YA, Fantasy, Sci Fi, Mystery, Parody, Fan Fiction, Mainstream, Erotica.
Ages of Participants. You know... I KNEW there were some teens involved, but I was thinking 3 or 4. There were as many TEENS as people in their forties. What do you make of THAT? The 30s was most frequent—oddly fewer 20 somethings... and not many 50+.
Word Count: Mean wordcount for the people reporting was 24, 534. Keep in mind not ALL of these had goals of 50K, and that the distribution was bi-modal. People MOST often, stopped before 20K or finished. Sometimes it just happens that life makes it a bad month when you were not expecting that. If that word count were applied to the full... lets say 100 people were there not duplicates or graphic support, that STILL means this WriMo produced almost a quarter million words. I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!
I hope you'll come back in and meet everyone else. We will be covering a variety of FASCINATING topics, but MOSTLY, I think it will soon be clear why these are my FAVORITE people on the planet!
[note: Joris Ammerlaan deserves credit for both Burrow graphics designs in this post, though the circle b was originally Mari's, if I am keeping things straight, which I don't always]