Reconsidering “Write A Book With Me”

Write A Book With Me (WABWM) was a popular part of my weblog back when I was doing it the FIRST time. I thought it was popular just with the writers on my site, though, so when I restarted it, I moved it into the writing community, because I didn’t want to bore readers.

Now I’m not so sure.

If you’re one of my readers, I’d like to know whether—if the following posts were HERE instead of on my writer’s forum—you’d find them interesting reading, or something you’d have to wade through to get to the good stuff.

I’m NOT asking for a show of hands. If you’re a reader, I’d like to know WHY you’d like to have the posts here, or not have them here.

(And if you’re a writer who did WABWM before, was it easier here, or is it easier on the forum?)

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and indie-publish my new ones.

47 comments… add one
  • Graham Long Oct 1, 2012 @ 9:49

    As for me, I like everything in one place; like my bedroom chest of drawers; socks in one drawer, jumpers in another, etc. etc., but then, maybe it’s my railroad track mind which cannot cope with ‘spread’. I like things packaged together, and I know I have already said that but like advertising nothing like repetition to get the point over.
    Apart from that love every thing about your website.
    Kindest regards,
    Graham Long

  • Elmi Oct 1, 2012 @ 7:19

    As a writer and reader, definitely weblog. I’m quite tech savvy and computer literate, yet forums scare the bijeezus out of me.

    To answer the question you had for your readers, I like feeling part of the process, especially since I know I’ll be buying the book. Following the process “gives me a stake in the finished product” (even though that’s all in my head ;P) I also like how you’re always transparent about your process, e.g. like when you couldn’t make your word count due to headaches one day, the next WABWM post would have 3 times the est. word count and you getting all excited about how your muse got Cadi (or whoever) in a jam and how unexpected this new turn of events are etc. etc. I absolutely love those posts, they make me impatient to read the final book and see for myself how, despite the physical challenges, your writing still triumphed.

    I love reading, and the way you share your process makes me love the writer (you), and that is just amazing for me, so to finally answer your question: yes, as a reader I’ll follow along on your blog.

  • Kirsten Sep 26, 2012 @ 21:07

    I’ll hop onto WABWM wherever it is featured, but I prefer the weblog. I liked being able to respond and interact with other writers via the reply button, and it seems easier to get to. (since I usually go to the forum from my email.)

  • rakesh Sep 26, 2012 @ 10:44

    I have a story which i would like to write it as a book but Iam unsure whether I can write a book but Iam very much interested in writing this story as i fell it is a good story. Can anyone help me with it.

  • Sep 26, 2012 @ 6:41

    I like having both options. As a new fan of your site, I say if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Love all the insight and resources you provide.

  • anseris Sep 25, 2012 @ 20:57

    I definitely prefer the forum, as there’s a bit more freedom over there. Consider the various forum threads that have been created by people other than Holly – especially for those of us who write over the weekends, when Holly doesn’t. What happens to those threads on the blog?

    • Holly Sep 26, 2012 @ 5:02

      I posted the weekend threads ahead of time on the blog, and they popped into being when needed—something I can’t do on the forums.

  • Saiyaness Sep 25, 2012 @ 16:33

    I’d be happy just to see a link posted to the forum thread, whenever you do a relevant blog post (or irrelevant – I enjoy your friendly, amusing and sometimes-snarky posts anyway.) As a non-paying loiterer of your forum anyway, I rarely visit it. I always check the blog though. 🙂

  • Beverly Elrod Sep 25, 2012 @ 16:17

    The easier, the better, for my simple mind. I like it all in one place. Separate from other topic posts to dig through…unless maybe it was a sticky post.

    Also, keep in mind that I’m pretty well computer illiterate.

  • JANIS HUTCHINSON Sep 25, 2012 @ 8:06

    I get very frustrated when hosts have two different sites to go to. Would prefer just one place to get everything. Thanks for your great work!

    • Holly Sep 25, 2012 @ 9:08

      Unfortunately, one place for everything would slow the site to an unusable crawl even on high bandwidth. By keeping the writing classes separate from my personal site, people can actually USE both.

  • Kimberly Sutton Sep 25, 2012 @ 7:52

    I’ve subscribed to your thread for the last year and have enjoyed your emails, rants and raves. I would like to read more on here, just keep sending email reminders with bold subject headings, in case I’m so busy that I forget to look at your weblog. That’s how I found this topic today.

    Thank you!

  • Danzier Sep 24, 2012 @ 22:21

    I’m currently stuck in internet purgatory (yes, again) which means all I have is my phone. Very few internet things show up properly on it, but the blog does–nine times out of ten. I have trouble clicking the _right_ link on the forums–I try to zoom and hit a link every time. That got old in a hurry, so I’m avoiding them for now.

    I realize this is a technical answer to a thought question. When I’m on a computer with a keyboard and mouse, I don’t care where the posts are. I check both. On my phone, the equipment hassle leads me to prefer the blog.

  • Julian Adorney Sep 24, 2012 @ 20:52

    As a writer, I prefer the weblog. Everything’s all in one place here; I don’t have to hunt around to find the WABWN thread for the day.

  • Johanna Sep 24, 2012 @ 18:41

    I am both your reader and a writer. As a reader, I love to hear about your progress on upcoming books because I know I’m going to buy them. As a writer, I’ve yet to participate in WABWM but I keep meaning to. I prefer the weblog only because I check it regularly, whereas I do not check the forum regularly. I would vote for posting a notice in your blog that there’s a new WABWM post in the forum. That way people can respond either to your full post in your forum, or just a quick comment to your weblog notice if they can’t access the forum or don’t have time to read the whole thread.

    • Johanna Sep 24, 2012 @ 18:42

      Of course, it just occurred to me that my solution means extra work for you, so feel free to ignore it 🙂

  • Raven Sep 24, 2012 @ 18:28

    I keep wanting to participate as a writer, but I just started a new job as a first year high school teacher with extra classes, so I haven’t been writing much (though I am doing NaNo with a couple of students). I’ll probably do it wherever it ends up being.

  • Emily Sep 24, 2012 @ 17:57

    I would prefer having it on this site- I usually come here once a week to just see if you’ve posted anything, to browse around, you know, and I find the forums a little daunting. I think it would be more simple if you posted it here, so you could have everything in one place- it’s easier to find and easier to read.

  • Felicia Beasley Sep 24, 2012 @ 16:34

    I am a writer but I haven’t participated in WABWM. I have also not really been following the posts on the forum, though I did follow the posts back when it was on your blog.

    I am, however, your reader first. My first introduction to you was Diplomacy of Wolves and I fell in love with your stories. One of my all time favorite novels is Talyn. I’ve read all that you’ve written, including the paranormal romances which is usually not a genre I read. I have also purchased all of your writing courses, big and little.

    And while I seldom respond to posts, I do check your blog daily. Rereading that, I kind of sound like a crazed fan girl but I felt the need to tell you all of this after all these years, not necessarily because of this particular post, but because I’ve never said it before. Whenever I came to your site, I always came as a writer, because that is what I identify as. It is my passion. Today I realized though that ultimately I come to your site to find out more about your books, the fiction ones specifically.

    I don’t regularly check other writer’s blogs. I’m not sure why other than lack of time. Just today, after reading a lesson in HttS, I realized why I always come back to your site. I love reading about how your books are going, what is going wrong, what is going right, not because I myself am a writer, but because I love your books.

    As both a reader and a writer, I enjoy your WABWM posts because I get to see the process behind books that I know I will love. I loved to see your progress meter increase. I loved to know that you were a day closer to coming out with something new. It’s a feeling that isn’t matched when another writer whose work I am not familiar with posts.

    To sum up, as I reader that loves your work, it makes me feel more involved reading WABWM even if I am not participating. And selfishly, reading those threads on your blog is easier.

    Is there any way that you could have posts both on your blog and on the forum, letting writers choose which one to respond to or does that negate what makes WABWM special?

    • Holly Sep 25, 2012 @ 6:23

      I’ve gotta get Margaret to help me get the progress meter running again. I managed to break it beyond recognition when I switched the site over to Wordpress.

      As for the rest, though…this was the thing I needed to know.

      Were there readers who loved to see the daily steps? Was this something only writers cared about, or was it something that some of my readers loved, too?

      You show me that it is. That matters to me.

  • Carol Flynt Sep 24, 2012 @ 16:00

    I prefer the forum because it puts all the WABWM posts together in chronological order, and since I can’t necessarily read every day, I can catch up easily if I miss posts — especially since the forum tells me when the most recent post was made. On the blog, it might be harder to find past posts.

    • Holly Sep 25, 2012 @ 6:21

      Actually, WABWM has its own topic here. What writers playing the game did before was bookmark the topic. Then they came in and responded to the freshest post—but everything else was always in perfect chronological order. In that regard, it was actually simpler than the current lock-to-the-top manual thing I do every day.

  • Nati Sep 24, 2012 @ 15:36

    Definitely interesting (and encouraging) reads! The more accessible, the better!

  • Terry Sep 24, 2012 @ 15:10

    I am trying to be a writer. So, I am interested in the posts. Reading the blog is easier. For some reason my dinosaur low speed internet has a heart attack and dies in the forum. I gave up on the WABWM due to connectivity issues. I guess now I have to try again…

  • Deborah Koren Sep 24, 2012 @ 15:06

    I didn’t realize it had moved to the forum until just now, or I would have been reading the entries over there. I had actually wondered what happened to the WABWM! I am commenting mostly as a reader, as I have not participated as a writer.

    I enjoyed reading the WABWM posts when it was on the weblog, because it was easy and quick for me to see updates without having to login or go to another link, and the format was easy on the eyes. But I suspect the forum will be easier to comment on as a writer. I will be checking it out as soon as I can.

  • Megan Sep 24, 2012 @ 14:49

    Honestly, I had no idea that WABWM was so active on the forum. Now that I know, I’ll go. Besides, Italy generally has bandwidth issues, and your website freezes constantly (but the classrooms and forum don’t), so that works out better for me!

  • Claire Sep 24, 2012 @ 14:46

    As a reader, and a writer who is not currently writing, I would love to see the posts on the blog. I enjoyed them very much the first time around, and always love to hear more about author’s writing process. So I find them interesting reading. But I wouldn’t sign in to the forums every day as a non-participant.

  • DoverianDragoon Sep 24, 2012 @ 14:43

    As a reader… the blog works better. It’s hassle-free and easy to ignore if I’m uninterested, and it’s already on my list of things to check on a regular basis. That said, as a /reader/ I’m not interested in daily word counts. I’m interested in teasers. Sneak-peeks at scenes, characters, and worlds that I might want to get to know later.

    As a writer… I vastly prefer the forum. I find forums much easier to navigate than blogs. They’re much more visually structured, and I like how easy it is to just skip to the “new posts since my last visit.” To me, posting to a forum is like participating in a community, whereas posting to a blog is like talking to myself in a crowd. I’m not sure I’d participate as strongly in WABWM if it were run on the blog (but I’d still try!). As a writer, I’m happy to get to know the other participating writers – including you – and cheer them on in their daily accomplishments or commiserate with their troubles, even if I do so silently. I feel more connected, in this way, through the forums.

  • Sachairi Sep 24, 2012 @ 14:21

    Although I paid good money to be on the forums, they’re simply something I never check. It’s so… blocky and difficult to navigate that I dread going there. (I probably suffered for it too, because many of the HTTS lessons asked that I participate in the forums and I missed out)

    Your blog is much easier to navigate and I get emails alerting me to when you’re updating. I feel like it also takes a lot of time out of my day to try and access the forums.

    As a reader (in general), I would enjoy the updates but when the book was finally released, I’m not sure I’d buy it. I already saw clips of it, know the general direction, and for me, it would destroy that feeling of “oh I MUST finish this novel TONIGHT!” I just remember wanting spoilers between the releases of each of the Harry Potter books and the speculation was half the fun.

    In the end, however, it’s really up to you. Best of luck with your decision!

  • Bill Sharp Sep 24, 2012 @ 13:53

    For sure, the blog. Much easier for me, at least.

  • Kelly G in ATX Sep 24, 2012 @ 13:28

    I would prefer to see the process on the blog, which is much easier for me to navigate. AT the same time though, I went through the forum and felt a bit overwhelmed by everyone’s responses. Or maybe it was jealousy? I’ve been procrastinating for much too long…

    Either way, you’re a grown-ass woman and you can do what you want! I think it would be awesome to see the process for other writers and to check out new people too. Plus, I might be inspired more often to put pen to page. Thanks!

  • sallie Sep 24, 2012 @ 13:25

    Since I lost how to get into the forum (toooooo many names and passwords between school projects and personal stuff, i frequently forget the correct password for my facebook and weebly accounts … LOL) the blog might be easier to track … but i love reading your posts wherever I find them! LOL.

  • Judy corduan Sep 24, 2012 @ 13:17

    I would hope you wouldn’t change it in the middle of the process. Not being overly computer literate, I know where to find it right now.
    This has definitely been educational following the process you go through.
    Right now I’m just trying to develop the writing habit, writing about anything, and figuring out different ways to describe things, paint word pictures if you will.
    Anyway, leave these posts where they are for now. Next time put them where it is the easiest and the least time consuming for yourself with easy to follow instructions on finding them. Then don’t sweat it. Even a computer dummy like me will find it if I want to follow it. I certainly hope there will be a next time. 😉

    • Holly Sep 25, 2012 @ 6:32

      I’ve gone back to writing fiction full-time. So WABWM is a perpetual thing.

      I stopped it when I stopped having a novel in progress to track—but with self-publishing, I have two years fiction laid out in hard form, five years laid out in flexible form, and ten years laid out in “I want to do this, too” form. And I know I won’t have to fight with editors and publishers to see them into print.

      My series will not be truncated and killed at three books (or two), and my readers will get the full stories I plan.

      Whichever way I go with this, I’ll do my best to bring everyone along.

      I can see that no matter which way I take this, it’s going to be a problem for someone, and an advantage for someone else.

  • Amy Sep 24, 2012 @ 12:25

    I personally prefer the forum, mostly because I’m already there. However, if it moves here I’ll read it here – I always come and read the posts here too.

  • Lacey Savage Sep 24, 2012 @ 12:18

    I much, much, much prefer the blog. I don’t log into forums as a general rule, because I find them difficult to navigate and time-consuming. I’d love to play along with WABWM, but I’ll only do so on the blog.

    • Lacey Savage Sep 24, 2012 @ 12:19

      I also meant to say that I’d love to follow along with your progress and cheer you on, so I really hope you’ll move the whole shebang over here. 🙂

  • Carol Englehaupt Sep 24, 2012 @ 12:02

    As a writer I enjoy writing along as you write and I don’t mind my posts being seen on a more public forum. As far as I’m concerned the more people who see my name and my project, the better for future sales.

  • Talynn Sep 24, 2012 @ 11:54

    Here’s where I am. I signed up for this I guess about the time the time you took your short break. I prefer to con to a blog and comment after reading the posts and other comments. I’m not crazy for forums and have never really stuck with anything that needed a forum to reach. I don’t know why. I definitely vote for the weblog.

  • Ruthanne Reid Sep 24, 2012 @ 11:47

    I definitely find them interesting reading!

    • Holly Sep 24, 2012 @ 12:17

      Thanks. That helps. 😀

  • Noel Lynne Figart Sep 24, 2012 @ 11:37

    The real reason you might want to do WABWM on your blog is that you’d get a wider audience to want to do it. I’m not on the writer’s forum, so I generally see what you post in your blogs. I followed along with one at one point (though I don’t recall which book I was writing at the time).

    Oddly enough, today I have to finish notecarding my new book — the sequel to AT THE FOOT OF THE THRONE. I wrote it in 2006 ago after being highly inspired by your articles on wordbuilding and dedication to production schedules.

    • Holly Sep 25, 2012 @ 6:34

      You make a good point.

      We had a LOT more players when it was on the blog.

  • Ieva Sep 24, 2012 @ 11:32

    As a writer I prefer the weblog for the simple fact that I check it when procrastinating, and forum feels like too much procrastination for me (too many click-throughs maybe? guilt for not being there enough, or not posting my own wordcounts? fear of getting sucked in?).

    As a reader (not your PERFECT reader, but about 50% compatible), definitely weblog. I love reading from writers who are being courageous about their writing (spare me the “oh my god this is so hard I am so miserable I levelled my WOW character 10 times before getting anything written!” sentiments… which you never have, thank gods).
    Then again, it’s not easy for me to separate the writer-me from reader-me.

    And in the end, I think it’s about what is most comfortable for you. It’s YOUR process. I wouldn’t want to interfere either way.

    • Holly Sep 24, 2012 @ 12:14

      I’m not a delicate writer. My process works equally well in my office, on my couch, or sitting in a corner at Best Buy in the midst of the Annoying People Who Turn Stereos ALL the Way Up.

      I get a LOT of work done sitting at Best Buy, actually.

      So it does not matter to my writing where I post my word counts. It doesn’t even matter to my writing that I post my word counts publicly. I do WABWM because I like watching other writers getting the hang of writing regularly and making progress.

      And I talk about my writing because…well…I like to.

      My question is, do my readers want to read about my progress on various books, and do the writers here like the open access of the blog better.

  • Mike C. Baker Sep 24, 2012 @ 11:27

    Seriously prefer the Forum, esp. given the difficulty experienced at the moment trying to Reply in the blog form (ten minutes to compose?)

    • Holly Sep 24, 2012 @ 12:11

      Could you give me specifics where you ran into trouble?

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