The Writer's Block...I used to be intimidated.

in writing •  29 days ago


The Writer's Block...a community that made me weary...until now!

One of the reasons I joined Steemit was to have an opportunity to share my writing.

But just like that classic tale, I've been writing a novel for seven years.


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Right? I mean...Stacie D get your crap together.

In all fairness, I really had no idea if what I was writing was any good. So, naturally I wanted to join a writing community that could help me build some confidence.

One of the first groups I found was the Writer's Block, and I quickly joined the discord but I was immediately intimidated by the members. I felt grilled right away to define what kind of writer I was, and being both brand new to a writing community and the blockchain, I backed away slowly, a bit disappointed. I thought maybe this group might fit me better later, but I was honestly not holding my breath.

Not long after, I did find a fantastic home at the Freewrite House. A group of lovely writers led by @mariannewest that filled my need to explore writing styles and to form my voice on Steemit.

I did keep an eye out for the Writer's Block. If I was ever to that point of writing to publish, I didn't want to be far away...even if that meant I needed to push through being uncomfortable.

With all of that in mind, I sat in Toronto this past month listening to @rhondak, @gmuxx and @jasonbu giving a presentation for the new Word Row front end coming to the block chain from the Writer's Block.

I was both excited and nervous that such a great avenue for writers was coming.

But something continued to hold me back.

They weren't my tribe.

Or atleast that's what I thought.

Shortly after they had finished, I made my way to the lobby where I found my hubs chatting it up with them and also @shadowspub.

He had shared with them how excited I was about the new website, but also how I hadn't found my groove within the Writer's Block because of the intimidation.

And that's when good dialogue happens. Honesty is always best.

@rhondak took this as an opportunity to share that there had been a significant problem on their discord channel. The people that had been trusted to represent them while the leaders had been working hard to create a website, had failed.

They had isolated potentially great writers, turned away others and had created a toxic environment.

I was thrilled!

Haha, not that they had experienced trouble, but that I hadn't even met the real Writer's Block until that very moment! This meant I could try again fearlessly!

I'm so thankful for the way things turned out. I was able to find the Freewrite House and make a family there, and now I can make new friends and expand on my skills! You can never have too many people on your side!

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Love this and love the pals @thewritersblock! Hope everything is going well it was so nice to meet you guys in TO! Come back soon :)

I'm so glad we had the opportunity to meet and address your concerns. I felt mortified by your experience and hope that others who went through the same thing come forward and speak with us. It's fantastic to have you on board finally! I hope we can also become part of your tribe.

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Thanks @gmuxx! I'm excited to be more involved and see where the road takes me!

This post title popped out at me and I really identify with it.

I generally have a decent conversation on the Block with individuals until it gets a bit busy. Then it gets difficult... and I still feel intimidated by the group! Haha!

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Haha I really hope that the vibe of the Writer's Block can become more welcoming while still maintaining what they feel is important quality work from the members. Maybe I will see you on discord!

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Haha! Funny that you should use the word "vibe"!

I was on Discord last night and used that word. I thought that based on this post above that perhaps they are easier to approach. It did not go well.

I was actually trying to address the attitude that is prevalent there. Not be "handled" about their teachings. The "rules" of writing that they like to talk about is not unique and can be found on many websites.

All I was trying to cultivate was the presentation of those rules, which would have been to the benefit of the group.

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That's a bummer that it did not go as you planned!

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Well, what I can say to you about that right now is that persistence is key.

Sometimes you just need to push past what you perceive of the communication and look at the value in it.

If you ever get to a comment that has no real value, then, of course, you can complain. However, you should find that almost everything that gets said (that is meant to be serious) does, in fact, contain value.

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The proof is in the pudding, Zak. We're not going to change our approach to helping people produce quality fiction no matter who disagrees with us. If the "vibe" of hard work, discipline, and attention to detail is offputting to anyone, then fine. No one forces them to participate. But we'll see in the end, won't we? We'll see whose approach garners more success with mainstream readers. The publishing industry is tough. It doesn't care if you get offended by the way it works. TWB isn't here to help people get Curies and pats on the back from supportive Steemians, although those are always a nice bonus. We're here to help people on this platform sell real books to real readers in a real mainstream market. Some people have what it takes to buckle down and do the work. Others don't. But like I told you, it's not like we're going to be out on Steemit flagging posts with writing that doesn't meet our standards of quality. Those authors can write what they want. But if they come into our workshops, they're going to hear what we teach. And our standards are absolutely not up for debate, nor is our delivery. Our system has worked too well for too long, and too many good writers have found their voices in our community for us to change things around just because some folks aim too low.

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Dear Rhonda. I hear you. Thank you for all the hard work that you do with TWB. All the standards of writing that I have seen on there are definitely the truth. You will see me there!

It's funny how you can look right at something and not see it. When I finally understood the impact such austerity was having and spoke up, there was instant pushback. That's when I realized how entrenched the thinking had become. GMuxx and I put on our admin coats to deal with it, and let's just say that was not well received.

We will always take a hard stand on quality writing. We'll always consider work published on the blockchain to be "published" in a most official sense. We will never tell someone their work is ready for public consumption when it's not. To do otherwise would be doing them a disservice. But that doesn't mean we don't want inexperienced and struggling writers among us. That's why the Block exists. We all faced the same learning curve. Writing is hard. It isn't a jumble of thoughts that leap from the brain to the page. This is particularly true with commercial writing, or any form or writing we expect payment for. But TWB is here to help. When that help becomes unobtainable for those reaching out for it, then we're no better than the mainstream publishing industry we're trying to reshape.

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I've watched the Block from the sidelines for a while and am living vicariously - my writer's block currently has more to do with lack of time than anything else. I'm looking forward to the day when I can take the plunge and participate; though I do have to say I was a little intimidated by the process and not sure I could commit to the level being required.

Thank you for all the work you've been doing and I'm glad to know you're all out there even if I can't take part right now!

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I do love that there is a place for writers that want editing...meaning that they want their writing to go to the next level. I believe that writing is an art, and there's so much room for creativity all over the blockchain no matter what form it comes in. But there is a time when it's important to take what you've written and mold it into the best version of itself.

I'm so excited to see growth and future of TWB! Thank you for talking with me and opening the door!

I will admit that I found the place intimidating. :) And it didn't help that I was a brand new Discord user!

My first week on Steemit, TWB was recommended to me and so I downloaded Discord and joined, and I didn't even know how to leave the welcome room... finally realised there were other rooms listed on the side, and even though they had a padlock on them I could apparently click into them. And by that time I felt it was too late to say "hello!" and the chatter I saw in there did nothing to put me at ease. I lurked for a bit, feeling more and more intimidated each time I saw people talking, and then stopped lurking altogether.

Group chats make me feel awkward at the best of times, but all of that... it was hard.

Thanks for sharing your experience. It's good to know that I wasn't the only one getting those vibes! And that they've since been addressed.

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Thank you for commenting and sharing your experience. Discord chats can totally make you feel like the new kid staring at a group of friends. How do you jump in and say something? It feela awkward at the best of times!

I hope you come back and try again!

I mean jeez Stacie, get your crap together lmao! Glad you got to meet Muxx, he's good people.

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Hahaha 😀 I hope you read it if I ever get it done! And yes, he is good people!

Good for you!!! Looking forward to seeing your novel published :)

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Yay! I hope it's good! 😂

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Thank you! I've grown so much since I last wrote...I wonder how it will go!

LOL, as I shared the other night on discord, I started researching my main novel in 1994, and still don't have my first draft completed.

Too much research really is a thing. ;-)

I've done proofreading and editing at a small publishing company in Florida, and part of my issue is editing (often meaning second-guessing) while I write . . . not exactly the formula for great productivity.

But what I have found at TWB is a group of great people, who are funny as hell while being serious about the work of writing, and I'm hoping that this will be the impetus I need to actually get my work on paper, and to finally finish the first draft that's been in my head for twenty years plus. ;-)

And, if I can help you, please reach out. Because I, more than most, know for a fact that actually getting past your own inner critic is far harder than any critics you'll face in real life.

Looking forward to reading your writing as you progress. ;-)

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Thank you!! Yes, second guessing my writing is what really killed the writing process for me time and time again.

My biggest challenge is that it is fiction based off my own life story when I was a teenager. I struggle the most with wanting to be real, but then too chicken to get it out. Plus second guessing my writing style.

After writing some fiction here, I find creating characters is much easier than writing about real people!

Thank you so much for your support, I will definitely reach out if I need anything!

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I can completely relate.

My two biggest bad habits are second-guessing myself, and editing as I go, rather than just allowing the muse to take over.

That, of course, and never thinking anything I write is "finished" enough to share.

I'm better about it than I was, but I've always been my own harshest critic, and sometimes my inner critic just needs to get off her high horse already and take a damned nap. ;-)