Over Lattes and One Laptop, a Literary Blog is Born

By: Marilyn L. Davis

 

 

 

Why Can’t We Build a Blog Library? 

 

“A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.”

[Letters of Note; Troy (MI, USA) Public Library, 1971]”― E.B. White

 

Titles and content usually have a backstory that doesn’t always make it into a post. While many people relate that to fictional characters, there’s a story behind this post. Scott Biddulph has been a friend for over 25 years, and about six years ago, we’d sit and lament the plight of authors and writers. We tried not to internalize rejection of our work as a rejection of ourselves. 

At that time, I’d recently finished a 400,000-word recovery curriculum and after 16 weeks of meetings with the director, staff, selected clients, and the judge of the court, the director, told me, “While it’s wonderful, has compelling information, and is correct, we think the vocabulary may be too difficult for some of our clients.”

There had been no mention of vocabulary in any of our discussions. I’d made the changes they asked for: 

  • Extra white space
  • Updated charts and graphs
  • Tables in the colors the director wanted

I felt discouraged and frustrated. I’d jumped through their hoops, and there wasn’t a soft landing. I made change after change and still got rejected.

Whether I was just stubborn, or correct, I would not change the vocabulary because I believed that all addicts and alcoholics needed to learn the words of recovery, just as we had to learn the language of addiction. Given that one piece of the curriculum was the TIERS Glossary of Recovery Terms, I thought that clients had a way to learn the new vocabulary. While the judge and selected clients sided with me on that, I lost the contract.

This rejection taught me a lesson. As they say, everyone's a critic. Were their changes necessary? Some were, some weren't, but we decided to be kinder at Two Drops of Ink in our edits. Click To Tweet

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Publish for Pleasure – Make Reading a Word-Hunting Experience

 

One day while looking for something else, I found this quote:

“To enjoy and learn from what you read, you must understand the meanings of the words a writer uses. You do yourself a grave disservice if you read around words you don’t know, or worse, merely guess at what they mean without bothering to look them up. For me, reading has always been a quest for pleasure and enlightenment, and a word-hunting expedition, a lexical safari.” ― Charles Harrington Elster 

Elster understood me, whether we knew one another or not. It also prompted a conversation between Scott and me about bringing new words and meanings from other writers here at Two Drops of Ink so we would be entertained, educated, and enchanted in the case of poets. 

Scott had writing rejected at that point, so we’d commiserate over coffee. But much to our credit, we didn’t complain or blame others. We both vowed to improve and keep plugging away at Two Drops of Ink. Specific ideas began to take shape and our philosophy developed over lattes at Inman Perk and a single laptop between us. Two Drops of Ink would:

  1. Be open to publishing new, seasoned, or somewhere in-between writers
  2. Communicate with all who submitted 
  3. Create an encouraging climate
  4. Develop a community of writers
  5. Publish “how-to’s,” memoirs, grammar instruction, poetry, and essays
  6. Look for the bones in the submissions, even if a post needed editing 
  7. Not make people jump through unnecessary hoops
  8. Offer sound editing advice and see what the writer does with it by asking for a “revise and resubmit,” giving the writer another shot at publication
  9. Publish a variety of genres
  10. Respond to comments
  11. Become an online library of good writing, whether advice, memoir, poetry, essay, or humor

 

Surely the Writers Will Stock the Library

 

Now that we had our absolutes, we launched several campaigns to attract new writers. We were confident that writers would flock to the site to submit a guest post. 

Perhaps we were naïve because the reality was that we had to prove ourselves, too. We worked hard, but as we say in the south, “That’s all water under the bridge.”

Since we made those decisions, Two Drops of Ink has won multiple awards:

  1. The Best Writing Blogs for Writers Awarded by PositiveWriter.com
  2. The 100 Best Websites for Writers in 2016 and 2017, respectively
  3. 4 Additional Awards  in 2017
  4. 4 Awards in 2018
  5. Top 100 Literary Blogs For Writers and Publishing Agents, 2020

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A Literary Library for You

 

With these awards, we’ve been able to satisfy many of our online library goals from the coffee shop. But beyond satisfaction for us, what’s in it for you?

  1. Struggling with your blog or writing? We offer Grammar Shorts, how-to’s on better writing, and advice about how to get noticed online.
  2. Not sure if you’re ready to start your blog? Our philosophy of collaborative writing means there’s room for you at Two Drops of InkThink about submitting today.
  3. Already have a published book? Would you like an additional platform to promote it? Then a guest post gives you that forum in your bio. 
  4. Want recognition at an award-winning site? Then a guest post contributes credibility to you and us.
  5. Poets sometimes languish in journals that the average person doesn’t read. Sad, but true. Since Scott is a poet, and I have poet-envy, we’ve partial to poets. Rhyming, timing, and topics by our published poets –  when you want imagery, inspiration, and insight.

We’re not finished yet… we’ll keep building the library with your help. Two Drops of Ink’s library is open anytime you visit, day, night or somewhere in between, and you don’t need a card to read.

 

Two Drops of Ink: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing

 

We offer serious, funny, new, and seasoned writers, poets, memoirists, and essayists a forum for their writing, so consider a submission. If you're looking to be entertained, grab a coffee and enjoy Two Drops of Ink's library. Click To Tweet

 

 

 

Our site is accepting submissions. Read our submission guidelines and enjoy seeing your post in the library at Two Drops of Ink. 

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9 comments

  1. Marilyn, I love you all at Two Drops of Ink. And I agree about leaving in the technical words. When we treat people like they’re smart, they rise to the occasion. In homeschooling circles, children usually have advanced reading and vocabulary skills because parents read real books to them. I discovered this while teaching my family. Thankfully, they turned out smarter than I will ever be. 🙂
    Blessings ~ Wendy

    • Hi, Wendy. I also believe that when you give people the information and encourage them to learn, they do. What was ironic was that the people who supposedly weren’t “smart enough” to learn were the very ones who wanted the information so they could learn. Sometimes, we don’t pay attention to the people we’re trying to help thinking we know what’s best, when in fact, they should have a say as well. My 2 cents.

      In the end, without changing that component, and seeing the curriculum used elsewhere, that idea has been validated.

  2. Hi Marilyn, I’m glad you and Scott pressed on with your intentions to never stop writing. I’ve used this site as my own personal library since day one. Because of the privilege you two have provided for all of us. I found it necessary to submit some of my writing to keep my library card, so to speak, active. I’m thankful you all are here, otherwise I don’t think I would be writing. This place is contagious in a wordy way. Thanks for this motivational piece.

    • Hi, John. So are we. When one of us was discouraged, the other would step up and become the proverbial cheerleader. Thank goodness frustration didn’t happen for both of us on the same day. It’s been exciting to “discover” new writers, as well as give poets and seasoned writers an additional platform.

      Onward….

  3. Awesome Post!!! A field trip to the Two Drops of Ink Library is an excursion I would recommend to all writers.

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