A few weeks ago, one of the members of my online writing community [Shenandoah Writers Online] approached me about starting up a satellite chapter of our group. I have SW(IRL) [Shenandoah Writers (In Real Life)], and she wanted to have something in her area of the country [the Pacific Northwest].
However, with the name of the online group being associated with the Shenandoah River Valley, said member suggested I change the name to be more inclusive.
I had two reactions:
1.) It’s an online group—and *most* SWOers aren’t from the Shenandoah Valley, so what does it matter what the name is? If Marice can be one of us from Brisbane, Aus., then why do we need to change it?
2.) ZOMG. What she’s asking me to do is start a writing organization.
The more I thought about that, however, the more I realized I *already had* started a writing organization. And, while it seemed a bit scary to think of it in that way, my mind started going ping! ping! ping!, and it all sort of clicked into place.
When I started the online writing community, my goal was to bring writers together. I wasn’t meeting a ton of writers in my area [I’d just moved to a new city and state], and I wanted to connect with other write-brained peeps and stay in touch with those I’d met at writers’ conferences.
As well, a big part of my love for writing is teaching people how to write and seeking advice from others who know more about it than I do. I learn about my writing during both of those interactions—we all do. Each connection we make enriches us that much more.
All that corniness [which I totally mean, actually] aside, I realized I have a “vision” for Shenandoah Writers Online. That’s why, starting now, we will be known as “The Write-Brained Network” [or “the WB,” as I’ll nerdily be calling it]. We even have a new URL!
While we’re not going to be morphing into something completely different, we’re going to build our skyscraper on the great foundation we already have. 🙂 I’ve put a few things in place in order for that to happen—changing our name is just step one.
And, perhaps it’s a bit premature to state this, but I would like to have our own IRL conference sometime down the line. That’s the five-year plan anyway. Will it happen overnight? Absolutely not. But the wheels are turning, and I just happen to live in one of the most gorgeous, most peaceful spots in the country—in the Massanutten ski resort. That has a conference center. And a BAJILLION rental properties.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. 😉
Anyway, that’s my vision for Shenandoah Writers Online—The Write-Brained Network—the WB.
We’re still going to be free to join, and we’re still going to offer all the same cool stuff as before—but now that our numbers are getting bigger, I think our scope should as well. We have reached more people than I thought possible at our inception eight months ago, and I can’t wait to see where we’re going.
If you haven’t yet checked us out, please do. We’d love to have you!