What’s Next for Writer’s March? You Tell Me!

IMG_1481Hello fellow writers,

It has been a long time since I’ve posted here.  As you probably noticed, 2018’s March snuck up on me and I wasn’t able to get this year’s Writer’s March off the ground.  As most of you know, I began this project in 2011 when I was a graduate student trying to finish my MFA.  At the time, I wanted to keep myself accountable and, most importantly, build a writing habit that was sustainable not just while working on my dissertation manuscript but beyond.  Writing posts for this blog taught me a TON about how to build good habits, how to think about writing, and most importantly, how to stay connected with a community of writers that has become increasingly dispersed across the country.

For the last 8 years, the March has gone through active and dormant phases.  As I moved into the working realm and had less time, it sometimes became a savior and sometimes a burden and sometimes (like this year), more than I could handle (and thus a source of guilt).   At this point in time, I’ve been trying to decide on the future of this project.  Do I keep the website going, rejuvenating it in 2019?  Do I pass the project on to someone else to moderate?  Or does this project shift and adapt as I have shifted and adapted?  I guess what I am asking for is your feedback.  I have two thoughts on where this project might go:

Idea #1:  The March Goes On

Who says change is good?  In idea #1, we would keep this site exactly as it is.  You would hear from this blog around the month of march.  We’d work like NanoWriMo, only better because you set your own goals.  The posts during the month would become more daily prompt driven, though we’d still invite guest bloggers to share insights on how and why we do this thing we are doing, and life goes on.  (And, on year’s like this year, it would be more than okay for me to skip the task, guilt free)

Idea #2:  The March Amps Up

At this year’s AWP Conference in Tampa, I started thinking a LOT of literary citizenship.  For me, the curating of this blog is just that – a desire to engage with people as they work through their writing process to both encourage them to keep writing and encourage them to set reasonable, achievable goals (while encouraging myself at the same time).  If the March were to adapt, I’d like to push this beyond simply the act of writing in order to highlight and engage with people whose works have made it through to the final stages, including publication.  This means that the March is not longer relegated to a single month, but  would post semi-regularly to promote publications and engage with writers who are finishing up projects that began during Writer’s March.  In other words, this means:

  • Writers March would post book reviews, interviews, announcements for writers who have completed a writing project or some other writing related venture.  The only requirement would be that the writer would need to have participated in writers march in the past.
  • Writers March would post throughout the year (though probably 1-2x a month maximum)
  • Writers March would still do its month of March writing endeavor
  • Writers March would need a team of volunteers to help, a low-commitment editorial board of sorts for people interested in writing book reviews, conducting interviews, or engaging with the project in some other way (all ideas would be welcome)

In other words, this is sort of a “go big or go home” option.  Rather than keeping things as they are, we amp Writer’s March up and push it to do more.

If you could take a moment to share your thoughts, I would be very grateful!

6 thoughts on “What’s Next for Writer’s March? You Tell Me!

  1. Sam: Writer’s March is a useful, thoughtful, engaging project just like it is. I like Option #2, but it seems to me that “go big or go home” might turn into something that gobbles up energy and time. So, basically, I say go forward with the blog as it is. What commitment do you need from us to make it feasible to sustain?

    • Hi Chris – thanks for the response. You bring up a very good point about time. Its funny, but my instinct is to always amp up commitments when I’m over committed – a strange habit, but one that I’ll definitely keep in mind. As for what would make it sustainable? I’ll give this some thoughts. I think If I can start thinking about this in February and lining up people’s help it should be more than do-able to keep it going every year.

  2. “Literary citizenship” is an expression I’d never seen or thought of in those terms before, but it strikes something within me. What are we writing for, if not for communing with other people, and who are we writing for, if not each other? While I’m wary about time sucks, I don’t want to use that as an excuse for always keeping my head down in my own work. So consider me enthusiastic about seeing this blog continue in some form, and willing to contribute something for the cause (now and again). Thanks, Sam, for starting this conversation.

    • Thanks, Laura. This is sort of what has been going through my own head. I’ve been doing the keeping my head down thing between work and family and maintaining my writing life, and I see others doing the same thing, which makes 100% sense. But lately, I’ve been feeling a bit…I don’t know, like there could/should be more than just doing my own thing. I’ve been seeing friends publish really amazing books with small presses to limited readership, and it occurred to me that there is so much room to be better at helping each other in all phases of this writing world (a thought inspired by the 2018 AWP, which is where i heard the phrase “literary citizenship” for the first time). Encouraging to write is one thing, but also doing more to help the works be more widely read seems like an even more important piece of this writer’s life puzzle…

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