The benefits of online networks for writers

Words to music coverWriting is a lonely occupation and writers don’t need me to tell them that non-writers just don’t understand. So it makes sense that we congregate in groups so we can whine to the anointed and learn from each other. I’ve had quite a few negative things to say about Harper Collins’s writer site ‘Authonomy’ as you’ll see from earlier posts. But that pioneer site had many beneficial off-shoots for me. I learnt a lot, received some great feedback (and a lot of forgettable dross) and – most importantly – I made friends.

Diiarts, the company which published my historical fiction novel ‘Die a Dry Death’, arose as a result of Authonomy and I met the principals there. I have developed a network of like-minded, supportive, helpful friends on Face Book, many of them ex-(or sometimes current) Authonomites. I’ve become a beta-reader for more than one published author and received the same help from them. That sort of interaction can only be described as invaluable.

More than one anthology has been produced through the collaboration of authors who met through Authonomy but I’ll mention this one because it has one of my stories. Michael Wells contacted a group of writers on the site because he liked how they wrote and liked the people. His proposal was that he would select for each of us, at random, a song from his collection of music. We would then write a short story. We were not to use the words (subject to copyright) but were to write how the music made us feel.

I was sent ‘I Will Follow You Into the Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie. I’d never heard the song, never heard of the artists. (I’m an old fart, after all). But I loved the lilting little tune about love and death and what it all means. Listen to it here, on YouTube.

I don’t write many short stories so it was kinda eerie that I had one I’d prepared earlier about love and death and where it may take you. Even my husband liked this one. So I did some editing, changed the title and away it went.

I feel privileged to have my place in Michael’s collection of stories. ‘Words to Music’ is an eclectic mix of stories from all genres, in all sorts of styles from people all around our great big diverse world. Forty writers, twelve countries. And one of them is me.

If you’re looking for a commuter read, a holiday read, a lunchtime read, you’ll find something to interest you here. Check it out on Amazon. Words to Music.

All profits from the sale of the book will go to charity.


About Greta van der Rol

I'm an author of fast-paced, action-adventure novels, mainly space opera - although I've been known to write in other genres. I live not far from the coast in Queensland, Australia and enjoy photography and cooking when I'm not bent over the computer. I have a degree in history and a background in building information systems, both of which go a long way toward helping me in my writing endeavours.

Posted on 31 January 2011, in On writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Moving song. My daughter introduced me to Death Cab for Cutie.

    What an interesting idea for a story collection.


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