This Week In Writing, we share some of the takeaways from our Fall Community Survey. Plus, we announce our next coaching opportunity.
Last month we sent out our Fall Community Survey, and so many of you responded! Jessica and I are incredibly grateful for each of you taking the time to provide us with fantastic feedback. Today’s newsletter contains answers to questions and responses to some of the comments left on the survey. Maybe your question is one of the ones found below!
First off, let me say how amazing and kind the vast majority of you were with your comments. Many people added heaps of praise and gratitude in the comments. Here are a few that made me smile:
I am glad WC is continuing forward. We’ve seen many publications close in the past year. I hope that The Writing Cooperative will not join their ranks.
What I love about your publication is that you promote winding, thought-provoking essays and not just the standard attention-grabbing Medium syntax. Thank you for that.
I like how The Writing Community is engaging with writers and trying to transform itself.
I have used some of your Writing Cooperative essays for my College Composition course.
Thank you for this survey, your presence on the web, this community, and for investing your time and effort to influence writers for the better.
A vast and heart-felt you’re welcome to all of you!
There were several reoccurring themes when asked about what we can do to improve — be it our publication or the newsletter.
Many of you are looking for more articles from and about international writers and people with non-native voices. Jessica and I couldn’t agree more. We recently asked for submissions from non-native English writers, though we really would love to see these submissions on an ongoing basis. If you’re a non-native writer, you have a host of experiences that can benefit all writers. We want to help you share your ideas and advice with the world.
Several suggestions want to see more articles about long-form writing (be it feature-length articles, novels, or memoirs), traditional vs. self-publishing experience, writing as a vertical (how writing skills exist in every career), what it feels like to be a writer, and views from different types of writers (genre, ghost, academic, scientific, copywriters, and more). Our response? Yes, to all of these. If you are a writer with advice or experience to share in any of the above, please become a contributor. Your experience can help a whole bunch of other writers learn and grow.
A few of you are looking for more information about Jessica and myself or want to know more about the history of The Writing Cooperative. A few years ago, I wrote a brief summation of our origin, but it’s time to update the history. Look for more information about me, Jessica, and Write Together in an upcoming newsletter.
One person wants to see more articles about how writing can change the world. While other survey takers didn’t repeat this, I want to highlight it anyway because I firmly believe it’s true. Writing can influence, inspire, and lead to real change. Let’s make sure our words are used for good and not for harm.
Finally, far too many of you shared comments that you haven’t submitted anything for publishing because you weren’t confident in your skills. One person summed up so many of your statements like this: “I’ve never submitted anything because I thought I wasn’t good enough.” This stung. I don’t want anyone in our community to feel like they aren’t good enough to share their story. While we have requirements and look for quality, everyone has a story to tell. I don’t want anyone to be afraid to submit. Sure, most of you come here to learn and grow, but please don’t think less of yourself. You are here because you’re a writer. We all start somewhere and grow together.
A number of you asked direct questions in the comments. Here are several frequently asked questions with rapid-fire responses. Are you ready? Let’s go!
- Can I write for you? Yes! Our submissions are (almost) always open.
- How many submissions do you get a day, and how are articles selected for publication? The number of daily submissions varies but typically sits between 20 and 40. It’s a lot. Jessica or I review every single submission, first for formatting and then for quality. One fun fact most people don’t realize, when we’re reviewing submissions, we can’t see anything about the writer. Medium doesn’t provide that information on the editor and evaluation page.
- Who owns the intellectual property? You do. Granted, you don’t own any of The Writing Cooperative or Write Together branding, but your words are yours.
- How do I get over 100 followers? The short answer is to write quality content people want to read. I recently updated the So, You’re New To Medium… guide with some advice based on my experience. It took me 12-months to reach 100 followers back in 2014. The longer answer to this question will appear in a future newsletter. Stay tuned…
- Do you write by hand or type when creating the first draft? My handwriting is often illegible, so I type. If you write by hand, more power to you!
- What is good wellness for writers? This is a great question, and one any of us who spend a lot of time behind the keyboard need to explore. While I don’t have an answer for you today, I am investigating for a future newsletter. If you have tips, please share them!
- What tools do you use to write? There’s a whole chapter about tools in my upcoming book (teaser alert). But, it’s no secret that I write everything in Ulysses. When it comes to tools, find the best one for you. It doesn’t really matter what other people use (unless a client wants something specific).
- When will you interview Stephen King for Write Now? Look, I’ve tried. Mr. King’s agent politely told me anything he has to say about writing or share with other writers is found in his book, On Writing. Sorry!
One More Thing…
Do you remember when Steve Jobs would shock the audience by announcing one more thing? Yes, I’m an old dork. It’s ok. Anyway, we have one more big thing to share with you today: our next Coaching Cohort begins on January 10!
Do you want to write more? Do you want to start the year off by forming a daily writing habit? Cohort 005 is all about accountability and building that writing habit. Sign-ups begin later this month, and subscribers of our brand new newsletter, Write Together Monthly, will have exclusive access to a massive discount at launch.
Subscribe to Write Together Monthly today, and you’ll get exclusive access to both our Coaching Cohort discount and an interview with Zulie Rane, Benjamin Sledge, and Coach Tony about writing on Medium. Sign up today!
Wow. We did it! That’s the longest newsletter we’ve had in some time. Thank you for sticking with us. More importantly, as we celebrate Thanksgiving this week in the United States, please know that Jessica and I are grateful for you. Thank you for being part of our community.
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Author: Justin Cox