PLEASE DO NOT REPLY DIRECTLY TO THIS "ABOUT" THREAD.
This is meant to be a guide post rather than a conversation thread. We want the information here to be available to everyone without scrolling.
That said, welcome to Writers! We're very glad you've joined us.
Think of this thread as a guide to getting the most out of your affiliation with the team. Here you will get an overview of our structure so that you can move quickly and painlessly into participating as much as you'd like.
BEFORE DIVING INTO WRITERS:
Are you set up in a way that will help you get the most out of this team and others? Reviewing the following steps will ensure you've opened all avenues of communication.
1) Have you set up your personal spark page? Your spark page is your home at Spark People. There you can share more information about yourself and your goals, including those that aren't related to writing. Having a spark page makes it possible for team members to connect with you and support you. At your spark page, you can collect and display the virtual awards you will earn, and the gifts (spark goodies) you will receive from friends, supporters and team-mates. At your spark page, you can also keep a journal or blog which others will be able to read and comment on.
2) Have you enabled sharing? Make sure your Spark Page is set to be viewed by others. HOW: On your spark page you'll find a button at the upper right that says EDIT MY SPARKPAGE. Click that and set your preferences. Make sure the box is not checked for it to be turned offline or to be viewed by friends only.
Check off "New Member Notification" if you want to be emailed each time a new person joins your team. Check off "New Topic Notification" to be emailed each time a new thread (message board topic) is started in your team. Check off "Display on SparkPage" to have the team icon show up on your SparkPage. Check off "Weekly Digest Email" to receive a weekly summary of your team's activity. Check off "Team SparkMail" to receive SparkMails from your team leaders.
SETTLING IN AT WRITERS:
We hope the Writer's team page will become your home away from home. Here's one path to settling in.
INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND MEET THE TEAM MEMBERS:
A) Fill out the introduce yourself questionnaire.
B) Read through the introduction questionnaires of others to find kindred writers. (Discover who's writing in your genre, or who is working at a similar pace or stage, etc.)
C) Visit the spark pages of writers who catch your interest and send a friend request or leave a greeting at their page. Just say you're a new member of Writers.
D) For older and more free-form introductions, check out the Original Free-Form Introductions thread, which still exists.
BROWSE THE TEAM ACTIVITY OPPORTUNITIES:
Familiarize yourself with team activities that are open to you.
There are a lot of options for participating so that we can provide useful support to all of our writers. We don't expect anyone here to do it all. Our goal is to help everyone find the allies and activities they need in order to become healthier, more productive writers. We ask that you contribute to the Writers community in the ways that are most comfortable for you.
Some of our members are nose-to-the-grindstone types who want to utilize the team resources quickly and efficiently. They want to come in, take care of business and get out. Other team members are chattier and more likely to pop in and out of the team threads frequently. BOTH types of writers (and everyone in between) are welcome here.
FYI: Each forum has a "sticky" informational "about" thread that will help you quickly understand how you can best participate in that particular forum. We ask that you do not reply directly to those "about" threads, so the information doesn't get buried beneath comments.
Always feel free to reply to conversational threads and/or start a new thread, within an appropriate forum, about anything that had not yet been addressed.
HERE ARE YOUR PARTICIPATION OPTIONS:
The TEAM WALL is a place for quick, easy chit-chat. If you have a simple question or any kind of comment, just pop in. It's extremely informal and casual.
THE TEAM MESSAGE BOARDS are for on-going conversations, in line with their titles:
A) Relax and socialize in the "General Team Discussion Forum." Here, the threads are pretty self-explanatory. This is the place for general conversations, news and games. In this section of our message board, you'll always be able to access this orientation, the HELP!!!!! thread, and Daily Chat. Click around and jump in wherever.
B) Introduce us to your past, present and/or future projects. We hope you've already improved our sticky introduction thread by filling out our introduction questionnaire. We also encourage you to use this section of the page to introduce us to your writing in separate, project-unique threads.
HOW: To introduce your project, create a new thread in the Introduce Yourself to Team Forum, with the title and genre of your work. Tell us about the project. Perhaps include a short excerpt from the piece. Also, if the project is at a stage where feedback would be useful, let us know what kind of help you're looking for. Perhaps someone would be willing to exchange projects for editing, or read and give impressions as a beta reader.
C) Visit the sidebar. NOTE; the sidebar content has changed recently. At the right side of the team page, you will find some shortcuts and simple participation options to help you jump right in:
TEAM LEADERS - Meet the team co-leaders by clicking on any name listed in this section. (We're an eclectic bunch, but we're all friendly and we'll try to help you in any way we can.)
RECENT TEAM BLOGS will show you new Spark blog entries by your teammates. These are linked, so feel free to click and visit their pages.
TEAM STATS - See how the team is doing as a whole by checking out the team stats, or see how individuals team members are doing on the leader boards.
D) Read / contribute to our RESOURCES.
Participate in writing-specific conversations in our Writing & Editing Resources Forum.
Participate in conversations about the writerly lifestyle in our Health & Wellness Resources Forum.
NOTE: The "Health & Wellness Resources Forum" is a brand new, as of March, 2014. Please come help populate it with your thoughts and threads. (There are starter ideas in the "about" thread, grab one and run with it :)
E) Learn about our challenges and goals, and how they are different, by reading the "About" thread in the Challenges Forum.
F) Check out the TEAM GOALS in the red section below the forums and sign up for the ones that will best support you. By successfully completing team goals each month, you are improving the success rate and standing of the whole team.
Congratulations; you've been oriented!
(NOTE: Our message board underwent a restructuring in March, 2014. If an older thread appears where it doesn't seem to belong, please understand that there may not have been a better place for it when it was posted. If you started a thread that now seems to be out of place, please feel free to move the text to another forum.)
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