“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”
~E. L. Doctorow~
Hello to all our dear, loyal readers, and followers. It’s time for a little news update about our site, and our future plans.
We have exciting news about the upcoming migration to the new version of Two Drops of Ink. Most of us fear change. We see it as an uncertain and negative apparition that sneaks up on us in the night. Even if we know that change is coming to us. Even if that change is good, we still fear it because we like things to be predictable, unwavering, the same.
Marilyn and I struggled with the tough decision to move, migrate, and change. And, we’ve been through this twice. Do we like pain? No, what you are witnessing is how success occurs when you sometimes least expect it. It forces you to make decisions you weren’t expecting.
We’ve shared the story of our humble beginnings many times. Two Drops of Ink was another blog among millions. A place where I posted personal musings, and, often, bad poetry (laughing).
When Marilyn came along, we started writing more often and with a deeper focus. The blog began to grow. For those who have seen their own blogs grow, it’s a shocker at first. You wait for the other shoe to drop. Often, you try and prop yourself up. You create the look and feel of the consummate professional that you’ve suddenly become; Marilyn and I did neither. We kept writing. We kept our eyes closed and heads down. We hoped that what we were seeing was the real deal — a true surge of readership and success.
The inkwell overflows
Marilyn and I began to feel the hard work of producing daily content. If you plan to succeed in the blogosphere, it’s hard work. Readers are fickle, they demand new, fresh content. I see bloggers all the time that post once a week, or a few times a week, and then they wonder why their following doesn’t grow. Again, it takes dedicated, consistent work.
We faced storm clouds of failure on the virtual horizon. They seemed to smile at us. As the tsunami of hits poured into the site like a sweet summer rain, looming storm clouds, an ominous thunderstorm of failure, still lurked. We had to get some help.
We never thought about asking other bloggers to write for the site. When we did, I suggested that instead of doing the “guest blogger” thing, that we brand our site as a literary blog and do a call for submissions. Marilyn also knew a few writers with an interest in doing regular contributions to the site. We were off to the races. The storm clouds gave way to sunshine.
Now that we had a small team of writers, we had more content, more diversity of content, and our readers responded well. Our following grew, and we soon faced more decisions.
Experience is the best teacher
Bear with me as I take you down a small rabbit trail. You’ll like my point.
Most people that know me know that I’m a pretty laid back, unpretentious guy; I’m me. I’ve been to the book releases with large luncheons and those who drink with one pinky finger raised as a glass of brandy is sipped. I’ve been to the academic conferences and given speeches (or slept as others did). I once sat and bored an older woman at a literary festival. I showered her with anecdotes only to find out that the woman was Frances Mayes. There I was at a literary festival. A bearded, tattooed biker. I must have looked to Frances Mayes like a ball lost in high weeds at this literary festival. She turned out to be so gracious.
I’ve had the snarky, nasty-grams from pretentious, subjective editors. I’ve seen bias from the publishing industry at large. These experiences led to a theory for our site that has worked well. It has proven many in the industry wrong—all writers have something worthwhile if given a chance.
Don’t get me wrong, yes, there are some people who call themselves writers that are nothing of the sort. That said, there are many writers thrown to the curb by editors. The constraints of time, backlogged submission files, and the need to feed the monster of demand are a part of the system in publishing.
I don’t mean to come off as some genius, or some pious monk in the field of publishing that rose above the fray like the High Sparrow. I respect those editors out there at small and large presses that have to conform to the “way of things.” I digress.
My point is that so many of the stories I could tell, the ones that hurt me as a budding writer/editor, made me the person I am today. I love writers. And, as one of my dear creative writing professors once said, “All writers deserve respect.” That is the secret to our success here at Two Drops of Ink.
I will always work to be objective rather than subjective as an editor.
We are moving again
Our first move from Blogger to WordPress.com was a nightmare in many ways. First, I beg all budding bloggers to heed this lesson. We didn’t realize the available freedom if you go ahead and use WordPress.org as a first choice. We moved to WordPress.com because it was free and easy. We also made the huge mistake of not leaving behind a redirect link for those who were following us on Blogger. Yeah…ouch. But, our readers found us and we began to rebuild.
As our numbers grew, the followers grew, the readership flourished. We began to attract seasoned, widely published authors and writers. We realized we had to make the last journey to true freedom and move the site once again. This time we will be free to do as much as possible for our readers, followers, and our contributing writers. We will have greater opportunity to create a more dynamic virtual library. Our dream of becoming the most diverse and interesting literary blog on the net will have its chance.
We hope you will join us in this journey. We will be posting links and news as we get closer to pushing the publication button on the new site. The goal is October.
A few changes you’ll see at the new site
- The new site will be a more energetic, modern magazine style blog theme.
- We will be changing the Published Contributors page by creating a drop-down menu. This will separate the authors according to genre. People hate to scroll down through fifty different bios. This will create more exposure for contributors’ writings, links, and books.
- We will be setting up more events, writing contests, image prompts, and calls for submissions. Fiction works will be the focus.
- The Book Store will also take on a new look. The page will consist of books’ covers and titles with an embedded link to their press, Amazon page, or site when readers click the book cover. This will give readers an easier time scanning the selections of books. Again, we all know readers hate to scroll.
- Our goal will be to make the site faster and easier to scan for your favorite writers, writing genres, and books.
- The original goals of the site will not change. We are the Home for Collaborative Writing. We are a large and diverse virtual library. We are a community of writers sharing their best work and advice. That will not change!
I want to humbly thank all our readers, followers, and writers for all that you do to make this a site that has benefited so many. Without you, we are a little fern on the bottom of the Redwood Forest.
Two Drops of Ink: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing
More on Grammar More posts about Writing Advice Our site is accepting submissions. Read our submission guidelines and climb aboard the Two Drops of Ink literary train – it’s on the move! Looking for a summer read? Check out The Book Shelf Poetry has found a new surge of interest. Read some great poetry on our site. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook