How many Bloggers does it take ......
Contributor
Written by
Julie Jeffs
April 2010
Contributor
Written by
Julie Jeffs
April 2010
In June of 2009 only 3 days after Kamy Wicoff and her cohorts started She Writes, Laura Didyk joined. Within a day or two more Laura started her own group called b>Bloggers: Let's Make It Work!. This week that same Bloggers group, reached the incredible mark of 1000 members. The Group Member Blog Index has 695 different blogs listed from 590 members of the Bloggers Group. In celebration of this milestone we thought it only fitting that everyone get to know a little about where we started and where we are now. I asked Laura to give us a little insight. I know you joined She Writes early on, what brought you here? I think I found She Writes through writer and She Writes member Hope Edelman—I’d recently befriended her on Facebook and I think she posted a link. So, yes, I joined in the first week and watched the site boom over night. I really liked the idea of a woman’s social networking site for WRITERS created in the spirit of women writers helping other women writers. There’s so much wisdom and experience out there and, thankfully, plenty of women who are more than happy to share what they’ve learned. I also revel in the feel of a site populated by talented, plugged-in women who are dedicated to their craft, even though as a group we are diverse in our goals and our writing. It just seems right—and in alignment with the order of things—to make it easy for us to connect with each other. What inspired you to start Bloggers, Let’s Make it Work!? Well as you know I do have a blog, called outloud. At the time I started the blogging group, I was in a very ambitious moment in my creative life (I’ve learned since that there is a thin line between feeling ambitious and feeling panicked). I was collaborating with a writer friend (a man in this case, writer and blogger TJ Beitelman (Beitel-Blog) on a creative online project. I was starting a memoir that I’d been putting off for years. And I was trying to shape a questionably ready poetry manuscript. I knew that having an active blog could bode well for my future as a writer. But there was so much I didn’t know (like everything!). I wanted to see and hear how other women were “making it work,” how they were balancing blogging with actual “writing” (and were they different?). How might I use a blog to be even more productive in my writing life? If I were to publish a book, could having a personal blog hurt me or help me? These are the questions that kept me up at night. Also: I wanted to be inspired. My second or third day on the site, I impulsively set up a group, having no idea what I was getting myself into (insert laughter). It’s important to note that when I started the group, I got so much support and encouragement from the She Writes creators. Such a testament to the site. The creators walk their talk and their hearts are really in this. What did you foresee for the group? Where would you like to see it go? As I said, I started it on something of a whim and didn’t know She Writes was going to grow as fast as it did. But the title of the group casts such a wide net, so it doesn’t surprise me that the group has grown. It’s very democratic and inclusive. I think like all the groups on She Writes, I hoped it would function as a forum and a support for writers trying out this specific kind of writing. One thing that was beginning to happen when I turned over the administrative duties is that bloggers from the group were starting to invite other bloggers to guest post on their blogs. I hope that continues. And I think the Curator series that you started is a wonderful way to work together as a community, unveiling blogs we might not otherwise have time to explore. Some people blog just for their own enjoyment, some as a scrapbook of sorts for their friends and family, and others post their writing (fiction, poetry, non-fiction, opinion etc.) as a form of self-publishing or to help build platform. Why do you blog? Once the Bloggers group started to grow, my ambition turned to panic—about not getting my own “work” done. I had used the blog mostly as a place to do quick write-ups about something that was inspiring me, or that I wanted to share (i.e., I was writing very often about an Eastern European punk rock band called Gogol Bordello that’s become something of an obsession). Occasionally I’d post one of my own already published poems, but when I did it rarely felt right or good. I’d say, in general, my posts have been somewhere between personal and literary. The memoir I’m writing now is about relationships and dating. It’s all still in draft form and some of it is about very recent experiences (can anyone say “online dating”?). While I think I’ll be fine publishing this stuff a year or so from now, putting it up on a blog the same week that whatever has happened has happened is a little trickier. My blog has evolved into a vehicle for the creative project I mentioned earlier, an online collaboration called In The Eyes of Everyone (ITEOE): A Project for Everyday Visionaries, based on the phenomenon of the “creative assignment.” It’s in the spirit of Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher’s much-hailed project Learning to Love You More. “Assignments” are powerful and have taken me in so many new creative directions I can’t possibly cover it here. You can read a conversation between me and TJ about the project and our experience with assignments [http://beitelblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/i2i-why-its-sometimes-really-hard-to.html] on his blog. ITEOE is at the center of my online ambition at the moment. It’s what excites me and inspires me and makes me want to keep breathing and writing through another day and another. As a result, this is what my blog will be for. And anything else I want. After Laura started the group, within the first day about 9 other bloggers joined her. The first of those nine was Dory Adams. Laura asked Dory for a comment on why she joined. Dory wrote: The timing of the Bloggers: Let’s Make It Work group was perfect for me since I'd launched my blog, In This Light
just weeks before. I'd been reading and enjoying literary blogs for several years, but this was my first experience with writing my own blog—and I was figuring it out as I went. The blogger group has helped me feel connected to other bloggers who share valuable advice and answer technical questions, and members have offered support by becoming subscribers or followers and by leaving comments. June 1, 2010, will be the first anniversary of my blog, and I'm happy to share that milestone with member of the She Writes blogger group.
So what about the 1000th member to join the group? The 1000th member is Dorothy Thompson form Chincoteague Virginia. She has beem writing since 2001, with a couple of published books but she now is concentrating on promoting authors. She has been blogging since about 2004, first at Boomer Chick (http://overthehillchick.blogspot.com) and now at Island Chick Travels (http://islandchicktravels.com). She found She Writes when it came up in her Google Alerts and after seeing it in other search engines decided to join. When asked what she hopes to get from She Writes she said, “ love it that it came up in my Google Alerts and it's situated into the search engines real nice. It's nice to know that when I blog there, the exposure is great. I love the camaraderie of the people here so it looks like it's going to be a blast!” As you can see from the first to the 1000th, the group is widly diverse. Come join us, take a look around, get to know these two members and the other 998, 999, 1000, oh well, you know the other ever-growing bunch! Many thanks to Laura Didyk for her wonderful idea and hard work to make the Bloggers group what it is today! And here is to the next 1000 members!

Let's be friends

The Women Behind She Writes

431 articles
12 articles

Featured Members (7)

123 articles
383 articles
54 articles
60 articles

Featured Groups (7)

Trending Articles

  • Harvesting Inspiration from the Shadows
  • Trick or Treat… Story Ideas for Your Next Book!
  • Leigh Bardugo On the [Real] Writer’s Life and Advice
  • 5 Lessons from Claire Bidwell Smith
  • Marie Forleo on Resistance, Setting Boundaries and...
  • An Excerpt: The Grace Year

Comments
  • Catherine Dowman

    Thanks Laura and Julie for a wonderful friendly interview. I have neglected this group over the recent months, but know it's time I returned. There is so much beautiful writing here.

  • LuAnna Codella

    Holy Moly. It is a bit mind blogaling. Today we all just seem to try to connect to the moment, breath, center on the here and now. then like the media itself-we are on to the 'next great thing',and we are out the door, going to the spiritual center to honor the holy day, then picking up the Italian Pastries that everyone tells you NOT to bring, because you love their expressions when you bring them. Then you remember tomorrow is Monday, and your film work isn't completed yet. And you realize today leads to tomorrow. You think about your dying mother, your controlling brother, and your bills. And then you remember to breath...You hope that you'll remember these great blogs, but you know that real life goes on, and then you hope you haven't offended anyone, and you think about your mother again, and you feel grateful that maybe tomorrow will be another day.oh, Bye DOC!

  • So inspired and grateful for your leadership, Laura, and to Julie for doing this interview. What an exciting milestone for our growth. And I love it that our 1000th blogging group member is from Chincoteague, since one of my favorite books growing up was Misty of Chincoteague. Welcome, Dorothy Thompson, and so glad to have you on She Writes!!

  • KiKi Walter

    Loved reading this!!! I'm one of the newer members of the "Bloggers" group -- just joined a couple days ago...so glad to be part of it and looking forward to networking with, and getting know the works of, some fabulous writers!

  • Lisa Rivero

    Thank youfor sharing this history and insight. I love the Bloggers group and try to visit a new (to me) blog from the members every day. It is a treasure trove.