Proud To Be A ROWer

 

As this Round is drawing to a close, I’m thinking about community.

Several years ago, I got invited to start up a community for writers.  This was in the early days of the indie scene and after talking with the other folks involved with the endeavor, I was IN.  I have always loved the idea of creating a community to prop other people up–a positive space to help writers remember that they aren’t alone in this sometimes lonely profession.  That…wasn’t how that particular group turned out.  I disagreed with some of the tactics, and with their desire to monetize the group.   Some of you have known me long enough to remember this.  But the ultimate straw for me related to my use of the group to help out another struggling writer.  Not even a full blown fund raising campaign, just notifying folks of that writer’s freelance editorial services.  I caught flack for it and knew that I was NOT on the same page as my co-founders.  So I left.  That group has since crashed and burned.

When I started ROW80, I set out to create a writing challenge.  Like all challenges, I expected that there would be a fair number of folks who would rotate in and out.  Plenty of first timers who dropped out and never came back.  And we do have that.  But what we also have is a group of core ROWers, people who come back round after round, cheerleading, sharing, and supporting.  People who welcome newcomers, show them the ropes.  People who, when I made the call, not only answered but thew themselves in whole-heartedly.  A community.

Our  Fundrazr for ROW80 sponsor Lauralynn Elliott has drawn to a close.  I’m happy to report that LL’s husband is back at work and recovering nicely.  We’re all thrilled to see him come out on the other side of this!  We raised a whopping $1812 to help out.  A great big THANK YOU to everyone who donated, bought Lauralynn’s books, and spread the word.  If you donated, please don’t forget to FILL OUT THE INCENTIVE FORM to select which price pack you’d like to be entered for.  I’ll be making the drawing for that in the next week or so.

I want to say how proud I am of all of you.  Proud of your generosity and your good spirit.  Most of all, I’m proud to call you, this community, mine.

6 comments

  1. I admit, I’m one of the bounce in and out folks. But I have made some great on-line connections with ROWers and still check in frequently even when I’m not participating.

  2. I remember you being in that other group. What should have been writers helping other writers turned into something…selfish. I am so grateful to you for starting ROW80. It’s helped me so much with my writing. But, even more important, it’s helped me make SO many friends. I found beta readers. I found WONDERFUL people. It made me realize I’m not alone in so many of my frustrations with writing. And, I still don’t know how to thank you enough for the Fundraiser. It was totally unexpected. Thank you, Kait.

    I, too, am proud to be a ROW80er!

  3. I don’t remember you from that other group, Kait. I like to think it means that my experiences with this project you started are untainted with previous “stuff”, but I have a feeling, just from what I know of you… it would have only made me more impressed with you and more generally frustrated with the writing community as a whole.

    The first feeling is okay, good in fact, but the second… No, online writing communities get enough flack.and unrealistic expectations.

    I’m just glad I found the ROW80 and all the wonderful people I’ve met here. Thank you for making that possible.

  4. I am just happy to have found a group like this and sounds like I am glad not to have known the other one. I am new to all of it, writing, editing, and being an Indie. I hope that I can hang with you for a long time.

  5. Thank *you* for starting this. Most such groups fizzle after a few months (for any number of reasons), but besides the Compuserve Forum, the ROW80 is the one thing that keeps me on track – if I don’t always meet my goals, I love knowing I can change them, and I love knowing there’s a fresh start four times a year – plus a super helpful group of bloggers and writers, who are maybe not all in the same boat, but definitely rocking on the same waves!🙂

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