Seven years ago today, a small band of refugee writers disguised as itinerant grave robbers led by Curtis Bausse left Penguin’s Book Country to cross the Internet wilderness and take control of this website from the High King at WordPress. In return for the King’s grudging acquiescence, they began posting blogs about the writing life and sending their critics threatening and suggestive letters.
(-Oh, wait. Sorry. Been re-reading the Harvard Lampoon’s parody of J.R.R. Tolkien.)

So, to quote Curtis from the first post:

Here we are!
by Curtis Bausse

Well, it took us a while, but here we are – The Writers’ Co-op. Five people who write in different genres but who all share a similar commitment to the craft and the graft of writing. As more posts come, this one will slip out of sight and mind, but it will always remain the first, the one in which the Writer’s Co-op became public. So thank you, Amber, Atthys, GD and Mimi for putting your trust in me.

But why come together? What can this site do that a personal one can’t? Well, as GD says, for a project like this, many minds are better than one. And the method is in the title – cooperate. This is a site where we swap and share news, opinions and experiences about writing, from first paragraph to finished product and beyond. Especially beyond. Because who wants to write a book and then not promote it? That’s like a painter working for years on a picture, then turning it to the wall. So here in the Co-op we try things out, see what works and what doesn’t, and tell each other about it. And not just each other, obviously. We happen to be the five that started it off, but we don’t intend to stay whispering in our corner. The Co-op welcomes anyone who’s willing to invest a little time and effort into promoting books worth reading.

What can you expect to find here? Since there’s nothing new under the sun, I do admit the innovation bit could be a challenge, but we’ll try our best, I promise. There’ll be anecdotes and analysis, thoughtfulness and humour, awards and recommendations, opinions, rants and wackiness. We don’t expect to work miracles and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. But what we do take seriously is writing itself. Which means we’re also keen to help writers explore whatever path might lead somewhere interesting, and help readers find good writing. If that sounds like a programme you could tune in to, you’ve come to the right place. Drop us a line, tell us what you’re up to. Maybe we’ll end up travelling the path together. Whichever one it turns out to be.

— April 16, 2016 —

We have, actually, real-ized Curtis’ predictions. So here’s to the next 7 years!


12 responses to “Today We Are 7 Years Old!”

  1. Sandy Randall Avatar

    So …
    We know what five of us were doing in 2016 … So what about the rest of us? What were we doing, writing, getting in to?
    I’ll start off … In 2016 I was still working for United Airlines. I had just been elected as the Recording Secretary of our local lodge and I was hella busy trying to keep my coworkers out of trouble as a shop steward. I was also doing some serious travel. That year there was a three trips to England, two weeks in Chicago, one in May to see my son graduate from Navy bootcamp and one in September. (Just before the MLB playoffs that was a great year for my Cubbies…) A week in Hawaii, in September with my daughters and a week in Orlando. Some of those trips were union related, most were for fun.
    In the midst of all that I was writing.
    My work in progress at the time, “The Legend of the Klaus.” That piece is now covered in dust and waiting for me to fall in love with it again. I occasionally think of that old love, and tell myself I will reconnect after I collect some more life experience. (These are the ways I procrastinate!)
    No matter how little or much I wrote that year, I still would not have stumbled on Writer’s Co-op. My use of WordPress was limited to union work.
    I did do some writing for United, in the form of a manual for agents working in baggage claim. Definitely not work I would ever like to do again, unless I am feeling a bout of insomnia.
    Also in 2016 I began hanging out with a guy I’d eventually marry. His dog decided I was worth keeping around, so we hooked up. Many adventures later and we’re still hanging.
    Anyhow, 2016 will go down as the end of a baseball drought for me, my dad and my Cubs. Now … if we can get another one … shhhh I’m trying not to be greedy.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. GD Deckard Avatar

      Thanks for giving this post legs, Sandy!
      “What were we doing, writing, getting in to” in 2016?

      My novel was published in June of 2015 and Penguin listed it on the world’s major Internet bookstores. Unbeknownst to me, though, was their fight with Amazon over revenue sharing. Amazon dropped about a hundred books to show Penguin who was boss. Mine included. Not a great revenue loss to Penguin but a major problem for a new author of a coming-to-age sci-fi story of little interest to the world at large.

      So, I spent much of 2016 flogging The Phoenix Diary until it dawned on me: It didn’t matter. I’m a writer not a bookseller. I enjoy writing and that is why I do it.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Sandy Randall Avatar

        You’re welcome GD.
        Your post got me to thinking… what was I doing when writers’s co-op launched. Apparently I was busy doing stuff 😂
        As to your story… it’s a good one… got my daughter and my mom reading it…
        Maybe find someone to make an audio version? I think it’s a timely book.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. coraleggcalypso92586 Avatar

    Congratulations and agreed…to the next 7 years!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Sue Ranscht Avatar

    In April of 2016, I was still on a six-month Horcrux hunt, searching for crumbled bits of my soul, after the first 6-week Nerdist writing competition on Inkshares the previous Fall. The 335 entries were all science fiction or fantasy, most of which weren’t yet finished novels. So everyone taking part wanted to read other authors’ entries, but they weren’t necessarily the most discriminating readers. Which actually didn’t matter because winners weren’t determined by writing quality — the winners were those authors who gathered the most pre-order pledges. You can imagine the horse trading among authors and digging up contacts for everyone you’d ever met, then pursuing them relentlessly to read and pre-order your nascent novel.

    For me, marketing turned out to be a soul-crushing endeavor. Yet my co-author and I finished 12th.

    I believe it was later in 2016 that I entered Curtis Bausse’s first Book-A-Break short story contest, and was fortunate that he chose to publish my story in the Cat Tales Anthology. Even more fortunately, Curtis led me here.

    Writers Co-op has given me a community of generous and supportive writers I have come to consider friends. It’s easy to be honest here. It’s easy to be encouraging. It’s easy to belong.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. GD Deckard Avatar

      Scanning the comments, your sentence,
      “It’s easy to belong.”
      jumped out like a one-line haiku.

      And, your June 23, 2016 blog, “Selling Your Baby” is still useful to new authors looking for ideas to promote their book.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Sue Ranscht Avatar

        Thanks. I’m glad to hear something I’ve written can still be helpful. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  4. victoracquista Avatar

    Then, as now, I navigated in and out of a chrono synclastic infundibulum, an eddy current in the space-time vortex. During that period, I became knighted and sat at the Sc-Fi Roundtable where GD and I met and quested together until I was sucked back into the vortex.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. GD Deckard Avatar

      🤣 Luckily for us, Victor, vortexes tend towards the circular and we expect you to perpetually bob by.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. victoracquista Avatar

    Bob? Hmmm, I seem to have met him circulating in the vortex. Rather ordinary looking as I recall, a bit overweight, sharp mind, and a delightful sense of humor.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. GD Deckard Avatar

      That’s him 👍

      Liked by 1 person

  6. mimispeike Avatar

    GD doesn’t want to be a marketer. (None of us do, really.) I think you can get away with that if you write short stories and submit them. In an Anthology, marketing is done by the publisher. Like Carl, you build a reputation by writing many pieces and having them accepted and published, and, if you’re lucky, getting an offer of a book deal. If you write and self-publish a novel, the burden of marketing is on you. I see the Motley Scriveners page as a sales tool, a place to send people to. I will get back on it eventually. I’m pretty worn out at the moment, and it’s gardening season.

    Writer Co-op is a lovely place to hang out as I monitor my zillions of files being shoved onto thumb drives. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last two days. My Mac quit on me twice two days ago, and when that happens, I get real nervous. What have I got that I haven’t backed up? I’ve been reorganizing my files and labeling them clearly so I don’t go bananas when I’m looking for something and can’t find it.

    We have very good people here and I try to learn from them. You folks are logical, and analytical. I am neither. Or am only with a lot of effort. I am very intimidated by every one of you, but it doesn’t discourage me. It makes me try harder.

    This is a site on which we can get to know each other beyond the writing. And that is perhaps the most enjoyable thing of all. And the motivational element of ShowCase cannot be improved upon. I’m making progress on my book four that I haven’t made in ten years. I couldn’t see a way forward, that seemed like it would get me somewhere useful. With Sue’s help, now I can. The final resolution of the assassination plot is still murky, but taking it one step at a time, I’m closer and closer to an answer.

    Liked by 1 person

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