In 2000, with Shari Gray’s blessing, I launched The Solitary Scrivener newsletter with a local crew of volunteers that included Martha Darda (design), Bev Henderson and Rhonda Bracey (copyeditors) and Gretchen Stahlman (Solitary Refinement columnist). It was a quarterly newsletter, distributed in PDF to members, with an ambitious editorial calendar.
Nine years later, I’m incoming SIG Manager, looking for ways to bring together the listserv and non-listserv members of our large SIG. Beyond that, I want the rest of the online world to begin meeting the uber-cool 1172 members that have, over the years, made this SIG one of the largest, most participatory, most helpful communities of technical writers around. Our activities on LinkedIn in the last nine months have introduced us to a lot of lone writers from around the world—folks looking for the kind of support, knowledge, and camaraderie that can be found in the Lone Writer SIG in spades.
As Winnie-the-Pooh would say, tapping his head thoughtfully, “What to do, what to do…”
And so, here we are again. The name is the same, only the format has changed. It’s time to get our collective genius out in the open. Lone writers aren’t merely jacks-of-all trades, although that is an unofficial bullet point on our job descriptions. We’re creative and self-reliant professional writers who have learned how to churn out quality work in all manner of conditions: no help, a little help, a lot of help; no money, a little money, a lot of money; less-than-ideal tools and the tools a lot of folks would sell their souls to be able to work with. We write for print, online, multimedia, mobile, and more—sometimes, all of the above. Between current and past experience, we’ve got most industries covered, including some that would surprise you.
So come one, come all…SIG member, STC member, new online friend. In the words of Liz Strauss, you’re only a stranger here once.