61 Comments

Help!

I have been busy. Really busy doing everything but the things I should maybe have been doing here. So I am now making a confession and a plea.

Confession: I wear women’s underwear.

Okay, so that wasn’t the real confession.

Real Confession: I started this CSB gig so we could all share our work with people of like-mind and feel like we were part of something bigger in a community that is supportive and gradually gained influence and attention over the course of due time.

I feel as though somewhere along the line my vision became lost by my impossible schedule. I want that vision back, but as of last week I was so disgusted with the attitudes of people and the way things were going that I made the announcement to a few people “Fuck it, I’m just going to close the CSB.”

This is not really the answer, I don’t think. I will be closing down as of Friday evening for a few days–weeks–not sure yet as I restructure and figure out what to do with all of this. Before that happens, two things.

#1. Thank you all for committing to this and for all of the support you have shown. Seeing your work has been incredible and I hope that when the CSB returns with some changes that you are all still happy to share your talent here.

#2. I want your opinions. What can we do to make this a better place? What can we do to make this more fun. I may not use every idea I get, but I would definitely like to hear from you all and see what you think/feel would be best for our future. Most of all, an answer to the greater question. In your opinion, do we continue this blog?

Love you all and again, I thank you.

About ionia martin

book blogger and reviewer, mother of four boys, classical pianist and amateur photographer. I love reading, writing, music and learning to cook new and unusual dishes. You can usually find me with my nose buried in a book unless I have the opportunity to be walking on the beach collecting seashells:)

61 comments on “Help!

  1. Caption contests.
    Something short. Like tankas. Might encourage those who are hesitant to write. Just throwing it out there.

    • I like that idea. Thank you, Sahm. I seem to be going through a–oh hell, I don’t know…blue period I think they call it? When you have no idea which course things are taking and you can’t decide what to do about any of it. I am trying not to drag the CSB along with my indecision. Excellent suggestion.

  2. Ionia, I believe your initial intentions were really very good. Along the way there were a couple of bumps in the road, but overall the blog produced some exceptional writing. I would like to see it continue and would like the editorial policy change to the degree that posts are encouraged with out becoming a sounding board for a few. Not sure how to do it, but there needs to be a submission policy that encourages talented writers and poets to come forward with their work. There should be few restrictions other than using the Community Story Board as a one person monologue outlet. Hope this helps.

  3. Apparently, I missed a bit of drama. And, that’s a good thing since I have no patience for it. As for this blog and the CSB effort, I think it should continue. People have contributed some great pieces of work, and had an opportunity to work with others on fun projects.

  4. Lost for ideas. I’d say some type of spotlight idea, but that sounds too much like a contest.

  5. Don’t give up. I think your vision is wonderful. I enjoy reading the storyboard. There are so many talented writers and bloggers. Please don’t let a few bad actors (as my grandmother use to say) upset you. They will come and go and maybe they are upset with their lives. If I can help please let me know. http://www.karendowdall.com (Fiction Short Stories) or http://www.fantasyfiction.org.

  6. I agree with John and wish I had more to offer in the way of solutions. The CSB has been a great place for new writers to spread their creative wings and get the encouragement they need to continue their pursuits. I would like to see it get back to a community spirited place of fellowship. Let me know if there is any way that I can be more helpful.

  7. Why isn’t there more widespread participation? Do people feel like they aren’t good enough? We don’t want this to feel like an elitist place to post works. But I don’t like it to feel like people are posting 1) just to be posting and boost their own blog numbers or 2) non creative things that belong on a private blog or 3) only the same few people posting. There have been some incredible poems and short stories posted on this blog. I would just like to encourage/cultivate more people like that to participate. The erotic theme brought out lots of creative stories and poems. How to re-create that consistently is the question. Good luck figuring this out. I will support whatever you decide to do.

  8. I would be very sad to see the CSB disappear for good. So many great works have come from here, and I’ve made some wonderful friends along the way too. I think what we need are more things that promote that sense of community, like challenges – the thirty day prompt did well for the most part I think, and so did the chain story. They kept people engaged and interested, even if not everyone participated. The way I see it, writers are always looking for inspiration. If they can find that here, they’ll keep coming back.
    November was a terrible month for a lot of us with NaNo, and now Christmas is creeping up. Everything seems to be muddled… for everyone. I think a fresh, clean start in January is what we all need.

  9. Lots of good thoughts! I’m glad to hear you’re not going to close it! 😀

    I like the ideas of challenges and another chain story would be fun. Encouraging people to participate though, I can’t help. The RCC has been sad… 😦

    Okay I am going to go back to my feverish shivers.

  10. I missed drama???

  11. New year, New challenges sound great, you could always round up the year celebrating the highlights of the CSB so far, just to remind everyone how successful it was, slap in some viewing figures / hits, tell us how many people follow it etc.

  12. Sorry I haven’t participated much…tell the truth I’m in a state of too much of everything and have wondered at times if I should go over, new name new everything. I’ve always thought that one of the best blogs of this sort was CSB…it went off with a bang and seems so vital! I think that November was hell to keep these posts alive…know it was hard over at WDBWP and now we’ve got Christma too. Sorry you got drama…I’m glad we have Sahm who takes care of that stuff…though I think it ages him a bit too…don’t give up, take a vacation, recoup etc. This is too good a blog to close down.

    • I have had the same thought. That perhaps getting involved in so many things all at the same time makes me a bit less good at all of them. I appreciate the encouragement. We shall close and come back as a risen phoenix. Or a naked canary. I guess that remains to be seen:)

  13. Reblogged this on Bastet and Sekhmet's Library and commented:
    Help! The CSB needs support people…Administering these great blogs that support writers and try to give inspiration and enchouragement to writers and photographers, take it from one who knows, is no easy task. When you get drama too…it becomes wearying. So, encourage Ionia to put on her Super Woman costume and keep up the good work she and her cohorts have been doing these past months!

  14. Ionia, first I want to apologize for my slackedness (is that a word?) in regards to CSB. I blame NaNoWriMo and my own tendency to procrastinate for my lack of involvement these last couple of months. I agree with Linda that November and December might be tough months for writers (in one you have NaNo, in the other you have holiday craziness). I think you’ve gotten plenty of great content suggestions from John, Susan, Pamela, Sahm, etc. Here are my two cents … I mean, suggestions:
    (1) The CSB could be more attractive to readers and writers with a change in its template. As it is now, on the Home page, every post is full-length which means a reader sometimes has to scroll and scroll before the next post pops up. I know links to previous posts are on the sideboard, but there’s only four links. I think the current theme often makes it appear as if this was one person’s blog instead of a community blog. I recommend considering a theme like that used by John or Dean that allows a visitor to the Home page to see a selection of posts (and thus, hopefully, a selection of writers) to read. An added benefit is the visitor wouldn’t have to read the posts in sequence. Much like a magazine or literary journal, one could “hop over” and read whatever posts catch the visitor’s fancy, regardless of when the post was published.
    (2) Share the burden of the CSB. This may be your vision, but you did enlist the participation of several other people (aka editors). It distresses me to think that you’ve been getting private emails about CSB that have upset you and that you’ve kept them to yourself for the most part (I know you haven’t kept them entirely to yourself, but I don’t want to split hairs here). Assuming you want to keep a gaggle of editors at your disposal, consider what exactly you want from them. How can they help you? How can they ease the burden of running a community-oriented blog? Or do they add to the burden? It isn’t just the content and design of CSB that you need to think about. The administrative aspects are also critical (even if the word “administrative” sticks in the craw of most writers).
    I hope this helps. I would hate to see the CSB go away. Because of you, I got Freshly Pressed 🙂

    • Because of YOU, you got freshly pressed and you made me damn proud. You never need to apologise for being busy. I know how that is 🙂

      You are very much right. I tend to keep most of the emails I get to myself because I fear making everyone else feel bad or feel like the csb is a burden rather than something fun to be involved in that helps them. I need to learn to share my blocks with the other kiddies.

      • You do need to share the bad as well as the good, at least with the editors. The CSB is not a burden, but it is work and we should share in that. I think if you learn to share the bad then you’ll be able to enjoy the good that much more 🙂 And, yes, my essay was freshly pressed but I might never have posted it if it weren’t CSB 🙂

    • Or fewer? I don’t have the answer because I really don’t know how many people it takes to manage a community-oriented blog. Any kind of management takes a fair amount of work, at least at the outset. As does any collaborative effort. I wish I had answers for Ionia. That she has been getting private complaints does upset me. She shouldn’t have to put up with that.

  15. Between three kids, a husband who goes downhill fast if I don’t pay enough attention to him, and publishing books, I’ve been seriously lacking in the short story, poem writing department. Hangs head. But I have enjoyed many of the posts on here. AND apox on anyone who has made you feel bad Ionia.

  16. no!!! Keep it going I really enjoy the CSB!! I’m happy to help in any way I can, other than offering a solution – hey what do you want from me? Okay, I will give it a thought. Like the caption idea. Will do my best…

  17. I’ve only been blogging 6 months so not really qualified to offer much advice. Only to say, I personally, have loved CBS, it’s the first place I check out every day. I’ve loved the interaction, the feedback, the fantastic stories, but have to admit I don’t like the blog stuff. I don’t think the blog stuff works with the concept of a ‘Story’ board. Maybe go back to submission only (I’m sure none of us will be offended), and then maybe have a calender on the page with dates of what’s showing when or what’s being highlighted a particular week. The prompts were great and the Squirrel piece was epic. As was mentioned before maybe have the front page as segments, people can drop into i.e. shorts / poetry / prompts. What about a special weekly project ‘Writing Wednesday’ (lame name but you get the idea) it might bring more people in for that project then they’d stay and have a look around a bit. You have done such a wonderful job, I would shed real tears if it closed, lol 🙂

    • You made my day with that comment. I greatly appreciate all of the time, effort and amazing work that you have contributed since we began. I think when we reopen again, there will be a restriction on how many posts any one person can do per week unless you have been absolved from that by my magical fairy wand. (In other words if I haven’t taken away your privilege you can post whenever:)

  18. I’ve been thinking about getting new writers in and I think I’ve come up with something… kinda. What I think we need is some way to stress that we’re building a community, rather than having people think they’re just visiting one. Make sense?

    Maybe you’re already working along these lines though… maybe I need to go into my wine cellar and open a new bottle…

    Just a thought.

  19. Dear CSB,

    I have heard that you have not been feeling well and are under the weather, so I decided to drop you a line or two that will hopefully make you smile.
    You were the one that inspired me to reach a creative level that I didn’t know I had. You made me smile when your friends would drop by and leave little notes and cards of their own.While trying to enrich your day they enriched mine as well.
    You helped me while I was down by keeping your door open and always having an open ear for my sadness or gloom, and always giving or relaying advice from your many friends.
    I envy you sometimes for your many friends, but I know that your friends are mine. We may not get together as much as we should, but we all eventually bump into one another.
    I know I hurt your feelings and made some of your friends upset by being a dullard, but I was new to the neighborhood and did not know any better.
    You forgave me, and I have tried to distinguish your faith in me.
    I think that you are a beautiful thing CSB, and I am sad that you will be gone for a short time, but I know the rest and relaxation during your vacation will reinvigorate you and that you will return to me/us well rested and full of piss and vinegar.
    I will not include any ideas for your travels, because I am only a meager man. I do not think I am qualified to tell you anything that can make you feel better over the long run other than to avoid becoming overwhelmed by your existence.
    You are a good friend….And should be treated as such.

    P.S I thought the Chain Story was great fun!

    Love, treyzguy

  20. I feel badly – but such is life.

    Ionia, I believe the board worked better when pieces had to be reviewed and approved by your editors. I realize there is no pay associated with being an editor however:
    *As I have watched CSB unfold I can see why there are such ‘editor’ titled people.
    1. Editors know the vision of their publication.
    2. Editors risk – but with good reason – saying yes or no to a submission.
    3. Editors are also – in some ways – mentors. They are skilled at their craft. They know the difference between trash and a rough gem in need of an editor’s opinion and suggestion.
    4. Artists deserve true evaluation and critique of their work. I think it takes a thicker skin to be an editor than it does to be an artist. That is just my own opinion – I hate to hurt people’s ‘feelings’.

    I would suggest that you have at least enough editors to have a ‘daily editor’ who would be responsible for submissions on a given day of the week.

    I would not allow just anyone to post on the board or – at least if you do – to not have daily random posts ,not approved by editors, appear on the front page. Random daily posts could be a side link thingy. I dunno 😛

    Perhaps an open post day – like open mic days at cafe’s. Once a week or twice a month or so. I liked the 30 day writing prompt thing. I think – even though we moaned – most of us really liked that. Maybe a weekly prompt?

    I would like to see CSB continue. There has been some fine work published here and hard work by you and your editors. I am willing to work with you and your team to be certain it does continue. I can donate some time each week.

    I’m sorry you had ‘drama’ and those sorts of issues. We grow in degrees and would not grow very much were we not challenged to do so…it’s the artistic way – growing and complaining and changing.

    Charles has my email. Let me know if I can help. I’m late to this thread due to holiday insanity.

    Ellespeth

  21. Dear Ionia, I hope you’re feeling better! I’ve been absent for so long, I really haven’t been following what’s gone on, I’m sorry. But just don’t give up! You’re fantastic and so is the Community Storyboard!!! Love you!

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