Category Archives: Welcome

Adam Johnson: My Journey

Hello, it’s wonderful to be meeting you at this point in my journey.

Our aim is to bring people — writers — together, no matter where you are in your journey. With that being said, let me tell you a little about myself. My name is Adam Johnson. I’m nearly thirty years old and I have been writing, seriously, for about six years. Since I was a child, I have had an insatiable craving for a great story. Whether it was movies, TV, comic books or novels, I was totally engrossed in them. My love for story has only grown over the years.

A few years after high school, a friend of mine invited me to play dungeons and dragons and I was hooked. It was all I could think of for awhile; again, totally engrossed in the story. I was so involved that I decided to write a backstory for my character. I sat down to write without high expectations but, it ended up being over fifteen pages long. Much to my surprise, it was actually pretty good, too! From there, It was over! I have been writing ever since.

I was lucky enough to find a tremendous group of writers through Facebook. Joining Writers Unite was one of the best things that could have happened to me as a writer. I have the opportunity to work with the craft that I love with a great group of people. It has been a gift for me and it’s a gift that we would like to share with everyone.

Welcome, to Writers Unite!

 

Deborah Ratliff: The Lonely Writer

Writing is lonely work. At least, that is the opinion of friends of mine who are not writers. They ask, how can you sit at a computer all day and not talk to anyone? Somehow, telling them, I’m never alone, that I talk to my characters would likely not reassure them being alone is good for me.

The fact is that despite the witty or testy or romantic conversation we have with our creations, writing is lonely work.

My career provided a writing outlet. I wrote research papers, training, operations, and policy manuals, newsletters, print and broadcast advertising copy.  While necessary within the scope of my work, and writing advertising was certainly challenging, I never felt fulfilled. When time to write presented itself after a corporate downsizing resulting in a layoff, I took the plunge. I started writing fiction.

As an only child, the solitude of writing was never a concern. What I did discover was that the support provided by co-workers, those who possessed good grammar, or could help with a word or phrase or paragraph was conspicuously absent. While Google is our friend, spewing out all sorts of information about point of view, world building or when to use ‘who or whom,’ bouncing ideas off of Google is not possible, and Siri quit talking to me.

Writers need human contact. We may sit at our keyboards, fighting aliens for control of the universe, playing detective to catch a serial killer or write about a first kiss while lost in our imaginary worlds, but we need each other. We may have a question about the correct verb tense to use, or how to phrase a sentence or redo a paragraph that is driving us to eat ice cream by the pint. We need each other.

The question becomes where do you go to find such support?

I first found a local writing group and was quite pleased with the members and the cordial but targeted feedback. But meeting once a month and an inactive Facebook page didn’t provide the interaction I was hoping for. Having listened to the “experts’ who drilled that a writer needs a social platform, I took the plunge and joined Facebook and searched for writing groups.

Still, I was dissatisfied, the groups I joined either devolved into cliques or arguments. Then I was asked by Karl Taylor to join his new group, “Writers Unite!” and I found a home. A writing group that focused on writing and strove to keep discourse at a minimum. A haven for writers of all levels of expertise to share their work, gain constructive feedback and learn from each other.

This is what a lonely writer needs. We need to know someone, who understands our struggles is willing to listen to our questions and give their advice. Someone who will read our work and provide critique in a respectful way. We may have our characters to chat with, but we need each other to complete our goals.

Thanks to all who have joined us, as “Writers Unite!” on Facebook has grown in from one member, Karl Taylor, to a membership rapidly approaching 15,000 in one year. As we expand our outreach to the web with the launch of the “Writers Unite!” blog, we hope you will join us in our goal to learn and improve our writing.

Michele Sayre: My Writing Journey, So Far

I started putting pen to paper seriously when I was about eleven or twelve years old. My father at this point had been writing for a couple of years and I used to fall asleep to the sound of his typewriter as his office was in the room next to mine. When I was thirteen I got my first typewriter and there was no going back after that. Since then I’ve gone through two typewriters, one primitive word processor, and several laptops and a desktop computer. I’ve also seen massive changes in writing and publishing since those tentative scribblings of twenty-plus years ago.

But my journey has had its’ ups and downs. I’ve gotten rejection slips. I’ve gone through long periods where I didn’t write a word for days. I’ve trashed manuscripts and had projects wither and die on me. Yet I’ve kept at it.

And how have I done that, you may ask?

I’m not quite sure to be honest. It just seems that I’m always drawn back to the keyboard, to the words themselves. Because no matter what I’ve gone through in my life and how long it’s taken me away from the writing itself, the stories and words still continue to flow through my mind. And that flow of words and stories in my head is the real reason I write: to get those words out of my head.

I’ve always felt I communicate better with the written word than in person as I am the classic shy introvert who still has to work at not being shy. But I will admit to being shy with my writing, too, which is another goal of my writing career.

So what have I learned on my journey so far?

I’m not a bad writer in that I can write in a way that gets a reader’s attention and makes them want to read more.

I’m pretty good with grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Most of all, I’ve learned that no matter how long I may step away from the keyboard, I’ll always go back. And when I go back I’ll be a better writer for it.

 

Welcome from Karl Taylor, founder of “Writers Unite!”

Welcome to “Writers Unite!” On WordPress.

I joined my first writers’ groups on Facebook in the spring of 2015 because my local writing groups weren’t helping me but the Facebook groups left something to be desired as well. The groups were full of cliques, and they tended to put down what they called stupid questions, and it felt like they had just created the group to feed their egos. I thought there had to be a better way.

On October 16, 2015, (the day after my daughter’s birthday) I started a group called “Writers Unite!.” My intention was to give writers a place to ask questions without fear of being ridiculed. I needed experienced writers, who would know the answers to those questions so I needed a good mix of beginners with experienced writers because I am not published and simply wouldn’t know the answers to many questions. I also wanted people to have a place to share their work and get honest but not cruel critiques because that is part of learning to be a writer. I wanted a place where people could share their triumphs and their frustrations and their hopes and their fears with people that would sympathize and support them. I wanted to create a sense of friends and family, something akin to the camaraderie between the patrons of the bar on the TV show Cheers would be perfect.

I met a woman, Deborah Ratliff, who I had come to respect in another group and I asked her to join me in my new group. It wasn’t long before I asked her to become my administrator to help me to build my dream group. Things started off quite slow. Though we had some great people, we had only forty-five members at the end of the first month. I felt like I had failed and thought seriously about closing the group down. Deborah talked me into giving it more time. As it turned out, she was right. The growth was somewhat subdued in the beginning but it was enough to renew my enthusiasm.

Things began to snowball and it wasn’t long before our members asked to have specific needs filled so we began creating sister groups to Writers Unite!. Our membership had grown and the extra groups became too much for the three of us to deal with so we began searching for someone to join us as another administrator. Deborah knew a writer from another group and he agreed to join us as an admin. Adam Johnson turned out to be a perfect fit for us. His vast knowledge and friendly, helpful attitude was what we needed and he quickly became a member of the family.

It wasn’t long, with the new groups and the growth in WU we found ourselves in need of another administrator to help us keep the groups running smoothly. We had a member who was very active, very supportive, knowledgeable, and friendly. She was a perfect fit. Luckily, Michele Sayre agreed to join our little family of admins. Her knowledge and warm personality made her the best choice and we became even stronger with her addition.

We’ve taken the first steps to creating our youtube channel and here we are taking our first steps to creating our WordPress web page. Today is October 16, 2016, and our group has 13,824 members. A couple of our sister sites are over 2,000 members. All this has happened in less than a year. It’s all a bit overwhelming, to be honest, but we want our group to reach its ultimate potential so we keep pushing forward. I am proud to share the credit with my admins as there is no way I could have done it alone. Join us, you may learn a thing or two and I am certain you will at least find it entertaining.

Welcome to “Writers Unite!” On WordPress

Welcome to “Writers Unite!”

Following on the success of the Facebook group, “Writers Unite!” founder Karl Taylor and his fellow administrators felt it was time to expand the group’s mission. Dedicated to providing a safe haven for writers of all levels of expertise to interact with each other and share information about their craft, the Facebook group has grown to over 14,000 members.

In an effort to expand the services of “Writers Unite!,” we decided to take this step and create a blog to provide more than a haven, but an environment to instruct, share stories and promote writers.

This site will offer:

  • Articles about writing
  • Guest blogs
  • Feature excerpts from members’ published and non-published work
  • Author interviews
  • Host writing contests
  • Writing workshops
  • And lots of other features as we grow

Join us as we explore the creative craft of writing.

Karl Taylor

Deborah Ratliff

Adam Johnson

Michele Sayre

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“Writers Unite!” Mission Statement:

To provide inspiration, instruction, and promotion for writers of all levels of expertise.

“Writers Unite!” Vision Statement:

To provide a safe haven for writers as they hone their craft.

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