Please join my writing community…by commenting

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We all need friends. Writers, perhaps, need them more than most. Read on to learn how you can join my writing community, at no charge…

I’m lucky enough to have a group of bright and vigorous writing companions who are as interested in writing and reading as I am.  Some of these friends, such as Eve Johnson and Hester Riches, date back to my daily newspaper days. Others, such as Lawrence Pillon, Ruth Raymond and Ron Shewchuk, come from early in my corporate communications career.

Many, I have met through my Power Writing newsletter (or at conferences spawned by it). I’m looking at you: Michael J Katz, Jean Freeman, Louise Julig and John Friesen. And still others I have met only through the digital world. Thanks Barb Oakley, Vicky White and Richard Pelletier. (Apologies to the dozens of other friends I’m not naming here.)

Having a community is important. We all know that if we want to give up drinking a support group such as AA can mean the difference between success and failure. Ditto for losing weight, getting more exercise, getting out of debt, and even living longer. Friends are important. Friends who understand exactly what we’re going through are invaluable.

This is especially true for writing. Writing is lonelier than most other jobs. Even though we may get to interview other people and talk to the odd editor, we still have to do writing work all by ourselves. Just us and that blank computer screen.

The problems facing writers are also unique. Who else cares where ideas come from? How to get a decent quote from a marketing VP? And whether or not to use the serial comma?

Over the last seven years (I launched the Publication Coach website via a newsletter starting in January 2006) I’ve answered a plethora of questions from writers. I receive dozens of emails a day and, as a matter of principle, I answer all of them, sending out somewhere between 20 and 40 replies daily. Some of those emails have turned into columns but the vast majority have remained one-on-one conversations between the questioners and me.

Now, I’m asking for your help.  

If you have a question or comment for me, could you please, please, please post it in the comments section of my blog rather than by emailing me?

This will help me by improving my Search Engine Optimization or SEO for reasons too nerdy for me to explain or even fully understand. (My SEO guy is very big on power of Google.) But there are also some benefits for you, too.

If you post your question/comment publicly, all my readers will then have access to the conversation. They may have thoughts or answers that would never have occurred to me. Thus, you’ll get better feedback. Many heads are always better than one.

Note that if you want to point out an error, (for example, seven people thoughtfully emailed me last week to alert me I’d written beech when I meant beach), please use the comments for that, too. I won’t be the least bit offended by criticism (offense was knocked out of me years ago by a particularly vehement editor) and it will help me live the transparent life to which I aspire.

Some people get scared because they assume posters need to be a member of Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or Google. You don’t.

Here’s how to sign on as a guest, without creating an account:

  1. Go to my blog, and click on a comment box at the very bottom of the page. Write your comment/question.
  2. Once you’ve started typing, you’ll see a header saying “pick a name” directly below your comment. Put in a name (it can be fake if you want to preserve your privacy) and your email address (which will NOT appear on the page).
  3. Click the “I’d rather post as a guest” button.
  4. Hit your “return” key and you’re done.

By the way, if you ever have difficulty finding the “comments” section, click on the link (it says “click here”) in the italics section at the end of every Tuesday post. Then, scroll down, and you will go directly to the comments.

Commenting isn’t as scary as it seems and it will allow you to become part of a wider community of writers, like you, who need assurance, empathy and friendship – and who face exactly the same challenges you do.

I really want you to be part of this community. Please join in.

How do you find community in your writing? What’s kept you from commenting here before? I’m out of town until Sept 7 but will promise to reply to your comments on my return. We can all learn from each other so please share your thoughts with my readers and me by commenting below. (If you don’t see the comments box, click here and then scroll to the end.)