I think it’s fair to say that without Writewords this blog would not exist and nor would most of what I have accomplished over the past 5 years since I became a member there because I would not have answered the prompts, met the friends I have met, gained the confidence to put work out there, won prizes, judged competitions or be Managing Editor of Every Day Poets now. I certainly wouldn’t be one of the writers selected in the PANGEA Anthology. Rumjhum Biswas has been interviewing the Editors and some of the 25 writers featured in Flash Fiction Chronicles. And I will have two interviews with fellow contributors on this blog in early September. However my interface with Writewords has often been Webmaster David Bruce and yet I realised that I know nothing about David or what a Webmaster does. I do know that without the people behind the scenes, the technical guys, doing their bit, the community and this one IS a community, could not continue allowing all us ‘creatives’ to — well — create and then blather on about it 🙂 So hats off to the techno-guys and
HELLO David Bruce.
1. How and when did you get to be webmaster for Writewords? And why a writer’s forum? What got you interested in doing that in particular?
I had the web skills and I became friends with Anna and Richard who are both writers. Together we felt we made a great team to build a site like this. We wanted to create a site for writers that felt like a real-life community, or as close as possible- so the forum and the groups are heart and soul of the site.
2. Just what does a webmaster do on a day to day basis?
I would say there is a good hour or so a day of email answering relating to membership, server issues and so on, so it’s quite part-time a lot of the time. If we do a major site overhaul or update that becomes much more full-time for a few months. We’re just looking into a homepage revamp at the moment.
3. Has the site lived up to or exceeded your expectations?
It’s exceeded our expectations in many ways- it’s satisfying to see so many people exchanging their views on writing, supporting and encouraging each other and it’s always great to hear that members have had successes of all kinds. What’s also great is the tone of the site, which a lot of people comment on – the degree of noise is much lower than many other writing sites – it’s a pretty civilised place, which is one of our proudest achievments I think (touching all the wood I can find). When we started the site back in 2003 we had no idea that it would become the thriving community it is today, but we did hope…
4. Writewords has always felt like the place to be and many of us writers have developed our skills and made lasting friendships there. Those and getting published, whether on-line or print, are our rewards. What for you are the successes and rewards of running the site?
Seeing people giving their hard won advice to other, newer writers…hearing about successes, big or small…seeing people begin collaborations or hold each other’s hands, in an online kind of way, through the writing process..
5. This print Anthology is bound to bring some extra traffic to Writewords. Did you ever consider that as a contingent?
We’re just delighted to see it out there and hope it brings success to the writers and editors for all their hard work! The Anthology and the idea of highlighting the WriteWords connection came entirely from the members themselves, and this is a particularly strong example of the rewards the site brings to us – it’s thrilling!
6. Do you do any writing yourself? And do you get to read what’s on the site?
I have been known to dip into poetry on occasion, but I’m actually a classical composer when I’m not battling with server issues! I try to dip in and read forum threads and new pieces of writing from time to time, and I’ve learned a lot about writing over the years as a result! A couple of poems I read on the site several years ago have stayed with me and become like old friends, which I imagine is all a poet could ask for.
7. Tell us a bit about how you see the future…
Hopefully expanding our site but growing at the right pace for what we do and what we are- we’re not all singing, all-dancing, but as Anna once said, we are a lovely big country house with lots of comfy chairs in warm cosy rooms where people can sit and chat, wander off and write privately, come back and report or let off a bit of steam…
Well thank you for answering my questions, David and thanks to everyone who makes Writewords a good place to be. Let’s hear it for the Techno-guys!
David Bruce happens to be very creative too. Listen to some of his contemporary classical compositions by following the link.