Friends don't let friends write alone. That's been my motto ever since becoming a writer. I would never have finished my dissertation, never have started my first book, never have finished my second without the support of female friends--who happened to be writers themselves--sitting across from me in Starbucks or wherever, keeping me company mind, body, and soul.

So when Kamy Wicoff tapped me in March of this year to help her launch a new venture to connect women readers and writers, and women writers with each other, it took me all of three seconds to say: YES! Count me in.

Introducing: SHE WRITES.

I am excited as hell to find ways to use this site together. Writers are rarely "just writers." in this economy in particular, we all are needing to be that much more entrepreneurial in our approach to sustaining our writing lives, that much more supportive of each other in our shared visions and endeavors. It was Virginia Woolf of course who said that in order to write a woman needs 500 pounds and a room of her own. These days, it requires far more than that.

I like to think of SHE WRITES as a virtual and collective room of our own--a space where we can help each other be, become, and stay the writers we want to be, and still eat. I'm looking forward to bringing the many things that I've been doing as "Girl w/Pen"--coaching other writers, teaching academics how to translate their prose for trade, leading workshops on how to write book proposals and how to blog--to a broader audience through SHE WRITES. And I'm eager to help others who offer services that support writers and writing do the same.

To be a successful author in today's shifting publishing landscape--and in this age of social media, love it, hate it, or tweet it--requires a new set of skills. We learn them in increments. We learn them as we go. "See one, do one, teach one" is my second motto of choice. Let's figure it out together. Let's not let fellow women writers struggle alone.

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Comment by Susanne Dunlap on June 29, 2009 at 7:56pm
So funny. The idea of not writing alone! I'm never alone when I write, I'm with my characters. It's when I stop writing that I really feel alone, and need friends who understand the process. I've been fortunate to have real face-to-face relationships with writers, but we're all under pressure of time and other obligations. As to figuring out how to make it--I think it's really hard in the literary fiction world. I write historical fiction, and have lately oozed into historical YA fiction. I guess that classes me as a genre writer, but it's where my imagination roams.

Anyway, I'm glad to share struggles with other writers. Triumphs, defeats. For one, the labor of love, my favorite project of ever, is something that has very little likelihood of ever being published. But still I work on it. On the other hand, I'm very fortunate to have an agent and editor who believe in me, and am waiting for feedback on my latest proposal. Fingers crossed. Maybe a two-book deal this time? If only.

But hey--there was a time when I never thought I'd be published again, and now I'm about to see number 4 come out. I should count my blessings.

Good night all!

Susanne

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