Wednesday, January 17, 2007

If You Write, Check This Out

Throughout 2006 I was an avid follower of the Jennifer Crusie/Bob Mayer joint blog in which the two collaborators took turns posting, sniping, joking, complaining, advising, sharing and just generally entertaining those who tuned in. They created the blog ostensibly to show us readers what a year in the life of a successful writer is like and, no doubt, to promote and generate sales for their first joint effort, Don't Look Down. I'm not knocking this, mind you. Even the big guys have to do what they have to do these days. If all marketing could be so entertaining...

Anyway, 2006 ended and with it the He Wrote/She Wrote blog. But Jenny and Bob have actually stepped up to something even greater, even bigger, even better. If you haven't found it yet, check out their new He Wrote/She Wrote on-line writers' workshop. It is beyond amazing.

The format is simple. On Monday of each week, either Bob or Jenny writes about a particular craft topic. A message board is open for discussion, which the two writers insist must remain on topic. This alone is worth the price of an admission. Although I loved the original blog, I never became one of their Cherry Bomb fangirls. That group became a bit too cliquish a bit too quickly for my taste, so I remained a lurker and stuck with Bob and Jenny's posts, avoiding the MBs altogether. However, the new workshop message board is quite interesting because there is a genuine give and take, as well as people who raise questions, request clarification, ask for and supply examples, and generally feed off each other in an informative give-and-take manner.

On Thursdays, whomever did not post the original topic on Monday responds to it, as well as answering questions or addressing issues brought up by posters. The first two weeks, Bob posted first and Jenny followed up. This week Jenny has posted and I'm awaiting Bob's response. Because both writers come from different backgrounds and because both have strengths and weaknesses complimented by the other, they don't always necessarily agree on a particular writing approach. I really do like that we get to see things from two different angles. It proves that there really is no right or wrong way to do it.

So I'm settling in for a great experience. I think Bob and Jenny deserve all kinds of applause for taking time out of their lives to do this. For free. I do know that they hope maybe a How-To book will result out of all of this, so their efforts are not 100% altruistic. I think those of us who post questions and argue points may be supplying topic matter.

I'm okay with that, as long as they keep the wisdom flowing.


Nienke said...

That sounds awesome... I'm on my way to check it out. Thx for sharing.
Happy New Year too!

Erin O'Brien said...

Best advice I ever got about writing came from my grandfather. "Get the seat of your pants in the seat of the chair."

Deceptively simple, no?

Lynn M said...

Yes...and why is it that I find that very good and very easy piece of advice the hardest to follow! Really, I am my own worst enemy. I have procrastination-itis of the severest form.