This week: Read the Newsletter! Edited by: Jayne
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|Hi, I’m Jayne, your guest editor for Noticing Newbies. My regular newsletters are Contests & Activities and Action/Adventure.|
|Once you’ve been here a few weeks, you’ll notice Writing.com Support posts newsletters pretty regularly. These aren’t site announcements or friendly updates. They’re a collection of writing information packets whittled down into bite-sized chunks.|
Sometimes, you’ll get some tips on how to use the site like "WritingML Secrets" . Other times, you’ll receive some information that breaks down genre information, so you can better see where your story fits in to the bigger picture, like "The Mystery of Mysteries" . Once in a while, you’ll find a longer, in-depth assessment of a particular topic, such as "Planning Scenes" . Occasionally you’ll find a straight opinion piece, or even a story designed to get your creative wheels turning, like "Who really killed the Wolf family?" .
It’s almost certain there will be newsletters that aren’t relevant to you. If you’re not a poet, you may figure you won’t find anything helpful in an editorial about poetic musings. Are you sure about that? What if it’s about reviewing poetry? Even if it’s not something you routinely do, there may be a tip or two about reviewing that can help you out in general.
Having said that, you will still prefer some newsletters over others, and that’s okay. Maybe you like the ones jam-packed with technical writing information you can soak up. Or perhaps you find the opinion pieces and storytelling are up your alley. You may love one editor’s write-ups but find that another doesn’t fit your style. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you won’t know until you test the waters.
Part of the journey to becoming a better writer is reading a lot—and reading outside your usual scope. By reading outside your regular genre, you can spark a fresh take. You might even find a genre that crosses over with your comfort zone, letting you branch out a little at a time, while you add some twists and turns to your plotlines.
As part of the newsfeed fun, each newsletter comes with a discussion question. While these are designed to spur our writers to engage with each other, the basis for the question is often (but not always) found in the newsletter itself.
For example, if I asked, “Is action a standalone genre?”, you can safely bet I’ve made an argument for and against in the newsletter. I did a whole series on it. I’m currently writing a newsletter series on reviewing in Contests and Activities. While I sometimes pull a fun question from nowhere, you can count on a questions like “What is your preferred reviewing style?” or “What steps can you take to make your reviewing stronger?” tying into the contents of the newsletter.
This type of question-background format is pretty common with newsletter editors.
It doesn’t mean you have to read any of the newsletters, but you’ll have a better background for your answer, instead of guessing. Plus, you’ll have an expanded knowledge of what’s going on in different areas.
If you enjoy particular genres or editors, you can subscribe to newsletters and receive them directly to your inbox. Go to the left-hand menu:
>click My Account
>click Account Settings
>scroll down to Additional Account Settings
>click Manage Newsletter Subscriptions
>click the boxes to select which ones you want
I hope that helps you tailor your WdC experience a bit more, and I hope to see you interacting with our editors and the newsfeed posts.
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