Wednesday, January 07, 2004

I am very pleased with how well things are going at Forward Motion right now. With the new year in full swing, and having survived all the holidays, people there seem to be more than ready to turn as much of their attention as they can to the art of writing. We have new people joining every day, and all of them are looking for (and mostly finding) material that will help them become better writers. And they find people who are willing to answer their questions, give them advice, and make suggestions. We're working on a system to get a lot of the quieter boards moving again as well, and I think that's already showing some promise, though it is a bit too early to tell.

We seem to have attracted a few more professional writers again, too, which is neat. Sometimes, wandering through the boards and threads, I am amazed at the questions, answers, and degree of help that people are willing to give to each other at the site. There is never a question of whether you are good enough to receive that advice. It is just given in the hopes that it will help. Even in chat people have been remarkably civil lately, with only a couple outbreaks of childishness that have gotten people kicked from the site. But you have to expect that in so large a group. There will always be people with the kinds of egos that make it impossible for them to accept that someone's advice is not an attack, and that others are not always going to act on what they think is best either.

When I look over the site, I can see Forward Motion's direction has turned back to what Holly had originally started -- a writing site. Not a site where there is nothing but writing, but one where writing takes precedence. I've noticed that even the Rants board has had fewer posts lately. And when I started the novel writing class a good many people who had been members for a long time but mostly lurked came out of the shadows to join in.

I think that, more than anything else, is a sign that the site is giving people more of what they want. I have over 170 people signed up for the novel class, and while I have no doubt that many of them are going to drop out of it for one reason or another, that is still an incredible number of people who have signed up, looking for writing related instruction.

And that makes me very happy. It makes me feel that this is the way the site should be, that the direction is right for us. Not for anyone else, but for Forward Motion.

I think it's going to be a good year.

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