Happy Anniversary – The Writers Circle hits #15 on the Preditors & Editors Poll!

Check it out! The Writers Circle blog tied for #15 on the 2010 Preditors & Editors Readers Poll!
Preditors & Editors
I know it’s not #1, and I never expected it to be. But even reaching #15 in the overcrowded conversation that goes on every day on the web is impressive, especially because, as far as I’m concerned, the purpose of The Writers Circle is very personal, intimate, specific and REAL.

Most of you (those I’m aware of, anyway) are people I really know, see and work with face to face on a regular basis. That our community has managed to reach a broader audience signifies just how much we all long to connect, even across this vast digital “cloud”.

Each of you inspires my thoughts and directs my posts. As I leave our weekly meetings, I’m filled with ideas about how to best encourage your work, how to guide you in your efforts to express your thoughts and imaginings, and how to press you onward against the inevitable tide of other obligations and distractions.

Over the last four years, we’ve committed to each other. We’ve worked hard to nurture a safe, supportive community that exists and extends across multiple facets of our creative and personal lives. A perfect example is the collaboration of Stuart Lutz, Ross Minichiello and Sandra Joseph, all coming together to create a book trailer for Stuart’s upcoming release, The Last Leaf: Voices of History’s Last-Known Survivors.

I’m thinking of Mary Mann, editor of Maplewood Patch, who has pooled the writing talents of so many in our Circle, including Lois Cantwell, Marcia Worth, Elias Zwillenberg, Stuart Lutz and, yes, yours truly! (Is there anyone I missed?)

I’m thinking of our excitement over members’ achievements, with or without our help, like Chris Harder’s essays in Chicken Soup for the Soul and in The New York Times’ Motherlode; and Lori Sender‘s and Marcia Worth‘s many articles in The New York Times.

I’m thinking of our local readings and Stuart’s book launch coming up on March 26th at Maplewood’s Words. (Be there!)

And I’m thinking of our holiday gatherings where we share food, company, work and laughter.

To me, you’ve all become part of my larger family. I’m proud to be among you, thrilled to cheer you on, more than willing to cry or even argue with you, and most honored to celebrate the successes as they come, paragraph by paragraph, day by day.

I started this blog as an extension of our work together – partly to maintain a public record of the many essays and articles I used to email to you. (And to save all that paper from the ones I used to copy and staple each week. Remember those days? And you all know how I HATE to kill trees!) Yesterday was exactly one year since I wrote my first post, so this small, formal recognition is a lovely first anniversary gift.

Blogging is an unusual opportunity for direct contact with a vast, unknowable audience. But too often I’ve seen it used as public journalling and wondered why anyone would want to world to know their most private thoughts. Perhaps it’s enough simply to be heard, as Carla Cantor (another one of our own!) details in her Psychology Today blog, Small Steps: Through Struggle Comes Strength.

Through The Writers Circle, I have found a purpose for my own blogging. Rather than blathering about my private trials and minor triumphs, I use this blog to gather the experiences and wisdom of many terrific writers and thinkers, and to share my own perspectives, hoping to help us all find the courage and discipline to continue with our work. For me, looking back at all my posts, it’s satisfying to realize how many times in the past I’ve had these thoughts and let them slip away into the ether. Yet now here they are – a record of our growth and progress together.

Thanks to all of you who voted and to all of you who write, read, struggle and share this journey. I’m thrilled to watch The Writers Circle as it grows and embraces a broader writing community. And to our readers and writers who join us in the “cloud”, I wish I could meet you face to face. Good writing. Thanks for traveling with us.

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