The Ghost of Magical Words Present


Okay, I shouldn’t say “ghost”, since the site’s healthy and strong and not going anywhere!  But it’s still the Christmas season and I couldn’t help myself…

I don’t think any of us expected the site to grow and flourish the way it has.  As David told you yesterday, we expanded from four people posting once a week to nine regulars on a schedule, with guest appearances from writers across the world. It came about because we realized we had more people reading what we were writing and we were scrambling to come up with great content.  So the family of Magical Words happened because of you, our readers.  Thank you for that! 

At the beginning, we told everyone we could about the site, just so we could get someone (anyone!) to notice.  I cross-posted on Facebook and Livejournal, doing my best to drive people toward Magical Words.  If you’ve ever seen me at a con, I always make a point of mentioning that I’m a blogger on Magical Words, and I’ll give the Glare of Shame to any of my cohorts on a panel who forget to mention it themselves.  *laughs*  It’s a habit from the early days, when no one had checked out the site.  It’s probably not so important any more – as of today, we have in excess of 47,000 subscribers.  Even though all those people don’t comment (and thank heaven they don’t, because I’d still be answering posts from 2011 otherwise), they’re still there.  They read what we write, and they tell other people, too.  I can’t begin to recall all the times I’ve talked to someone who lurks on the site.  I’ve even run into a couple of people at the library who, not realizing who I am, find out I’m a writer and recommend the site to me.  Talk about weird! 

But that’s not the only thing that’s happened to us, thanks to the blog.  Influential sites like SFSignal have linked to our posts time and again, which has resulted in all of us being invited to provide content on other blogs.  Other writers have approached us, asking to be guests on our site, because they recognize that we can help them be heard as well.  We’ve been invited to cons to present seminars as the Magical Words team, seminars that ended up being standing-room-only (believe me, it was a little terrifying to look out from the table and realize people were still trying to push in from the hallway.)  We’re preparing to run our very first intensive, hands-on writing workshop in the summer of 2014 (more information as it becomes available.) The only reason all of this has happened was because con-runners saw our blog and knew we would deliver what we promised, and the reason anyone saw our blog at all is because of our readers. 

It’s vital to promote yourself in you want to succeed in this business these days.  Publishers just don’t have the time or cash to push each and every author as hard as they’d probably like to, so the less-than-million-selling authors lose out to the Steven Kings and J K Rowlings.  We had no idea how beneficial this site was going to be to us, and we all hope that the thoughts, dreams, suggestions and occasional wisdom we’ve shared here have been helpful to all of you.  And as the new year comes on, I hope that you’ll all continue to come here for wonderful content and fun.  We have something pretty neat planned for 2014, and we’re very excited about it!  I’m dying to tell you right this second, but it’s still 2013 for a few hours more, so you’ll just have to wait until Faith’s post tomorrow. 

For now, then, raise your glasses, no matter what you’re drinking. It’s been an incredible year, and we’re looking forward to an even better one to come.  Happy New Year to all!


17 comments to The Ghost of Magical Words Present

  • It goes to show that if you consistently put together a good product, people will find you. One of the things that I like about MW, is that the core team has largely remained. The beginning crew of David, Misty, Faith, and Catie are still around and active posters, and yet, you have expanded with even more regular contributors. That consistent presence is what gives this place a nice homey feel.

    Thanks once again, you all!

  • My son discovered this place around three years ago, about the time the book was released. It was instrumental in his desire to become a writer, and in rekindling mine as well. This is a great thing you guys have been doing and, while the upcoming changes sound ominous somehow (changes announced in stages always do for me – too much experience with internal corporate benefit “improvements” 😉 ), I’m looking forward to what you have planned for the future.

    Thank you all!

  • Thanks, Mark! I’m glad you see MW as “home”, because we see you and all our regulars as family. Suddenly I’m feeling the urge to bake cookies for everyone… 😉

  • Not ominous, Dave, I promise! I don’t handle change well myself, but the new year for Magical Words is going to look more like the tree on Christmas Day, with all sorts of brightly-wrapped packages for all of you. Good things coming!

  • Thanks for attaching some (amazing, incredible, certainly-shocking-to-me) magical numbers to Magical Words. I look forward to more information about the future!

  • Ooh, a Magical Words tree with packages for all of us! Can’t wait! In the meantime, I raise my mug o’ hot tea to everyone, Happy New Year!

  • sagablessed

    Yes, the title almost gave me a cardiac infarction. Baaad Misty. LOL

    I agree this site makes you feel like you’re in the home of a friend. Good advice, good people, sharing of dreams, failures, and other experiences.

    New things? Likey!!

    ::raises steaming coffee mug:: A toast to Magical Words, long may it reign!! I’d say more here, but first cup of coffee you know.

  • Ken

    Ooo, a new shiny to look forward to 🙂

    And some really good advice. Self promotion is certainly something that I need to work on.

    Have a safe and wonderful New Year’s Eve!!!

  • New is scary. New is exciting. Teasing us and making us wait is … like being next for that brand new roller coaster!!!
    Can’t wait ’til Faith’s post tomorrow!

  • I’m with Lyn on this: bright and shiny can be scary. Like Windows 8. I’m confident in the MW crew that it will be better and not just different for the sake of being different. Especially for an old dude who can hear the swish in the back swing of the scythe.

  • Razziecat

    Do I detect a bit of the Ghost of Christmas Present hereabouts? 😉

  • Janet Walden-West

    A last minute Thank You to the regular and guest contributors for all your hard work in 2013.

  • Cindy

    I bought the Magical Words book first and then started following here. This is a great site and it has helped me in so many ways. You guys are the best! Have a great 2014!

  • Happy New Year, everyone!

  • Andrea

    I’ve been reading your blogs for quite some time now. (I don’t even remember how I got here). They really encourage me in my writing and/or help me improve it.
    Very often I talk about something writing related to my friend and writing buddy, and I realise ‘oh, there was something on the MW website about this’ and I email her the link. Because I’m not always reading the blog the same day it appears, I haven’t commented often (in fact, I only recently registered), but I’m a loyal reader and hope to remain so for many years to come.
    Thank you all for writing these inspirational and informative blogs, and also for sharing your – sometimes very! – personal stories.
    Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

  • Oh, dear, now I’m curious about when this writing workshop is. I wanna go! 😀

  • I’ve been following your blog since somewhere in the middle of 2009, I believe, and I can’t recall how I got here, exactly. I know it was word of mouth, though, so I’m glad you put all that effort into generating it. I look forward to more great content in 2014.