Hello, online poetry community. It’s me, Carolee. The picture in this post is from a recent hunker-down-and-revise session I built for myself in Saratoga Springs (just north of me here in Upstate New York). That’s primarily my focus right now. One of my writing goals for the first couple months of 2016 is to finish the biggest revisions on my manuscript and send it out lots more than I have been sending it out.
Another of my goals for 2016 was to launch a new online poetry community built around prompts. And here it is: This Is Not A Literary Journal. I’m joined in the endeavor by James Brush (@jdbrush) of Coyote Mercury, and hopefully soon I will also be able to tell you about the addition of one of my favorite people to the team. We’re publishing prompts weekly (-ish). And we’re writing responses. Right now, at least so far, it’s been just us. It’s pretty quiet over there. That’s to be expected, of course: we’re pretty new. It will take some time to build a larger community.
I’m also prepared for the possibility that a large online writing community may not be “a thing” anymore, and I’ll be delighted if even a small, supportive community grows there. It’s different now online for writers than it was when the first blogging networks and online poetry communities thrived (oh, how I miss you all!). People are more “Facebook” than they are “blog.” People are also (and rightly so) a little more tentative about posting their work online. (I wrote about that back in the early- to mid- 2000’s and plan to do an update soon, by the way.)
Still, I’m giving it a go. I think there will always be an interest in good writing prompts. Maybe the focus of the site will evolve from a community built on the responses to the prompts to discussion about the process or creativity in general. Maybe writing prompts will just be one thing it offers along with the other stuff. I don’t know. But I am committed to it and interested to see where it will go. I was raised — poetry-wise, blog-wise and social media-wise — in online poetry communities. Although I am not sure what one might look like in 2016, I want to see.
If you’re so inclined, give the site a shout-out wherever you are online: Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. Our second poetry prompt — “True Love Shop” — is live today, and I’d be super stoked if you shared it with your writing community. I’m also interested in your thoughts. Tell me about your process and the role of the Internet, blogs, social media and fellow writers that you engage with online.