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Why I’m Creating TypeTribe

July 25, 2009

Hi, my name is Jamey Stegmaier. I’m the creator of TypeTribe. I want to share with you why I want TypeTribe to exist and why I’m going to use the service just as much as anyone else.

I love to write. I’ve focused on short stories for a few years; I have a novel in the works. I write three different blogs.

A few months ago, I finished the first draft of a story about a group of seminarians. The story included a fair amount of dialogue between the aspiring priests, and I was curious if that’s how they really talked when they’re behind closed doors. I wanted to send out the story to a few real seminarians to get their feedback, but not only do I not know any seminarians, but I also knew that my expectations for them to review my story were unreasonable. I wanted input within a day or two while the story was still fresh in my mind.

This situation has happened before in different forms. Usually when I finish a story, I have that writer’s high of having written something that didn’t exist a few hours before that. I’m in love with every character, every twist, every line of dialogue. I’m blind to the true quality of the story, and I know that.

So the first thing I want to do is get someone else’s opinion. Is the story any good? Is it publishable? I want to know immediately.

You can’t post a 4,000-word story on your blog and expect people to read it unless you’re a famous author. 95% of the time you can’t get an honest, robust opinion about the story from a friend or family member, especially within a day or so.

The other alternative is to go to a critique group website. Sure, they exist. There are some solid, well-built sites out there that do this. Trouble is, you can’t target a specific audience, you might wait weeks (or longer) before anyone reads your work, and for your work to be read at all, you have to read other people’s work first.

That’s the kicker, that last part. Not that there’s anything wrong with reading and critiquing someone else’s work. That type of analysis can help you grow as a writer.

BUT the very last thing that I want to do when I’m really excited about something I just wrote is to put it down and think about someone else’s writing. No, I want someone to read my work at that time. Right away.

Sure, it’s a little greedy, but artists are inherently a little greedy. We create new things and want other people to look at them, to give them their undivided attention. And that’s okay.

Based on that premise, I created the structure that will become TypeTribe in a few months. I’ll see you there.

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