Know any frustrated writers?

I’ve written before about the, um, idiosyncratic search function at the otherwise-spectacular Stencil. Honestly, it’s the best purchase I’ve made for my business. I have no skill at desktop publishing or whatever it is you need to do to marry images and words into eye-catching designs.

But Stencil’s search function leaves something to be desired. Or maybe I’m just overtaxing it. Maybe I’m offering it too much information. Maybe that’s the problem.

When I typed “frustrated writers” into the Stencil search box, I expected to find people in front of computers pulling out their hair. Something like this, maybe:

Although, on further reflection, this looks more like a woman who just realized she shouldn’t have ordered the diner’s meat loaf special. But among the photos of people legitimately writing (though not in apparent frustration), Stencil dished up this little image:

No! No, goth princess, I wanted to shout. Writing’s not worth that! It never is.

Seriously—is this what the folks at Stencil think when they think “frustrated writer”?

That’s just a liiiiiitle darker than I wanted to go.

Rebranding the comfort zone

I’m rebranding my 5×15 Writing Challenge Facebook group, you see. I’ll still be running the challenges—one week every quarter. But I want my writers to see the group as a place they can post anytime, not just the five days of the challenge.

So it’s about community. But it’s also about acknowledging the frustrations that come with trying to step outside your comfort zone—especially in a creative endeavor. It’s about carving out a safe space for yourself. And if the Willits arrive, saying, “Thank you very much I won’t be needing you today.”

You know the Willits. I’ve written about them before. Here’s a little video I made for the Facebook group that explains them further.


If you wonder what’s going on in the Willits-Free Zone on Facebook, well, we’ll have some community writing projects, themes for each month that people can write to if they like, and I’ll be offering some deals and discounts especially for group members. If you’d like to join us, cruise on over to Facebook and submit a request.

Frustrated writers un-frustrated here. And no Willits allowed.