Introducing the Isle of Write: Creativity from the Cabana

in #writing3 years ago (edited)

Introducing the Isle of Write: Creativity from the Cabana

Message in a Bottle #1
Origin: The Isle of Write
Sender: @jrhughes
Recipients: Steemit Creatives

I’m sending this message from the lovely, sun-drenched beach of my new home, the Isle of Write, located in the tropical waters of the Sea of Discord. When I landed on these shores with co-founders @authorofthings, @carolkean, @geke, @lenadr, @pegasusphysics, and @sunravelme, we took one look at the silky sugar sand, the robin’s egg sky, and the fields and fields of green (thanks to @geekorner this is not a desert island), and knew immediately we had found a place to foster community and creativity in a relaxed and encouraging environment.

“Let’s not make a big thing,” we agreed. We were just a little group of writers and visual artists chatting about everything and nothing and decompressing a bit in The Pub.

“This is really quite lovely,” we realized. It seemed a shame not to invite dear friends to visit, and so we did, and the Isle bloomed.

Soon we had the Comics Cave, English Grammar Grove, Fiction Fjord, Non-Fiction Fun, Off-Steemit Ocean, Poetry Pond, Scripting Springs, Songwriter Soundings, and Visual Arts Vistas, all places for creative types to give and receive support and feedback in a community where courtesy is king.

We and our little group of friends sipped margaritas, wrote, posted, and shared.

“Some of these folks are incredibly wise about cryptocurrency,” we noticed. “Perhaps they should have a spot for that?” So Crypto Chat was formed and many of us who came to Steemit not understanding a whit about blockchain, began to hang out and learn from the Isle inhabitants in the know.

“Have you heard about the Five-Minute Freewrite?” @MarianneWest called from her canoe.

“Come ashore and tell us more,” we responded. She did, and we were enchanted, and the Free Writing Retreat blossomed, and our creativity and output and happiness grew with it.

“Would you be interested in hearing about my plans for teacherless writing groups focusing on the emotional impact of stories more than the technical execution?” shouted @vitkolesnik from the seat of a garvey. By this time we were tipsy on tequila and drunk on friendship and we giddily dragged him ashore where he works happily to bring his vision for an impact feedback group to Steemit and beyond.

“We should fund a curation trail that rewards exceptionally creative content, and we should even dedicate a part of it to exceptional expired content that didn’t receive exceptional payout,” we mused. So we began to build a website that would feature such content, with the goal of remonetizing expired posts, because some creatives contribute much of themselves for little return.

And we also prioritized finding a synonym for “exceptional.”

“We need a place for people to post their links,” we decided, and the Sharing Shores were set aside for any and all to display their creativity in the written or visual arts. “Please don’t spam here. Take the time to tell a little about your post so people know why they might want to read it. Be courteous and don’t overshare, leave space for others’ posts to be seen as well. These fall under our one rule: Don’t be a jerk.” And conversations burst forth and friendships were made on the spam-free Sharing Shores.

“You’re crazy!” naysaid the naysayers. “People will take advantage!” But the magic of the Isle was such that no one did. No one was a jerk and no one spammed and we let the naysayers drift on by.

“What color would you like your name to be?” we invite each traveler who appears on our sands. “Our names comprise a beautiful decentralized rainbow of equal, nonexistent ‘rank’ and you are free to choose your own.”

“But who’s in charge?” ask a few weary travelers.

“Just...just don’t be a jerk,” we reply, confused.

“But what happens if someone is a jerk?” they sometimes persist. We just smile and hand them a drink with a tiny umbrella.

Because over one hundred Islanders in, we haven’t had to find out yet. The magic of the Isle fosters peace. It unleashes creativity. It builds confidence.

Best of all, it brings us together.

Whether you are a best-selling author or just finding your inner writer; a Hollywood screenwriter or just someone with an idea and a dream; a celebrated photojournalist or an amateur snapping pictures with your matter your level of skill or your aspirations for the future, you are welcome at the Isle.

Do you want to get better at your creative outlet?

Wonderful! We have what you need in the Workshop Waters.

Do you just want to share what you do without judgment?

Fantastic! Come and visit the Isle of Write, where our highest priority is community and our only rule is, Don’t be a Jerk.

If you decide to stop by, this detailed info will aid in your journey to our shores

This info is also available in our beginner-bay

  • the-pub is our busiest channel. It's where anyone here for any reason can gather and chat. Pop in, say "Hello" and choose a color for your name!
  • meet-the-peeps is a place to stop and introduce yourself to the Isle. Tell us a bit about yourself and your interests. Above all, we are a community here and want to get to know you. To help members easily find you on Steemit, please go to the pinned post in there and follow the Google Spreadsheet link to add your information on any appropriate topic tab. Be sure to look there for members who share your interests and check out their blogs.
  • crypto-chat is a great place for those of us unfamiliar with the mysteries of blockchain to hear from those who are familiar. Whether you're well-versed or a complete naif, feel free to join in the discussion.
  • rpg-rookery is a place for folks to engage in or organize roleplaying games, particularly of the table-top kind
  • special-members-only is open to everyone and is there to remind us all that everyone who comes here is special. We don't have a hierarchy, we have only one rule: Don't be a jerk, and we want to keep it that way.

Are you coming for a workshop?

Under the "Workshop Waters" category are all of the places you can go to both give and receive help, advice, feedback, and inspiration. We ask that all of these things be done in a courteous manner. This falls under "Don't be a jerk." Putting a piece of creative output before someone is a frightening and risky act. If you truly find something not to your taste or just plain lousy, you don't need to comment at all. Yes we want to help one another improve, but no one should ever be treated rudely, mocked, derided, or criticized. All feedback should be constructive, meaning it provides not only a critique of what is wrong but an acknowledgment of what is right and advice for how to do better.

Available Workshops

See the channel descriptions and any pinned posts at each for more info
Want to share already posted material? Head over to the Sharing Shores.

The link rooms are open to all…

But we ask that you not drop and run and don't spam us. These also fall under "Don't be a jerk." Post your link, tell us a little about what we can expect from it and what inspired you. Be courteous by not posting multiple times a day so others' links will also be seen. If link dropping is abused, permission to post to those rooms could be revoked. Don't be that guy (or gal).

If you need help, below are the founders’ Discord names:
@ geke ❄❄❄
@ Just Jess (jrhughes)
@ LenaDr
@ Lakhi (PegasusPhysics) 🐉
@ sunravelme☀
@ Inna (authorofthings)
@ Keangaroo (carolkean)

Think you'd like to wash up on our shore? The treasure map will bring you right to our door!


Header image courtesy of sharonang via Pixabay, art and flair courtesy of @pegasusphysics


Welcome all! And though Green is the best colour, all colour-lovers are welcome. Even I must admit that I almost picked blue.

Welcome to the garrulous and gregarious isle, and don't be worried if you're an internet introvert. We don't bite. Though some of the cats in the images might.

I've got to say, I'm thankful to @techslut who invited me to this group, it's much more charming and full of much more pleasant members than most Discord servers I frequent. I'm even one of the youngest people on the server, after being the oldest in almost every internet community I've frequented over the past half a decade.

But again, this is no room for stodgy and stuffy critique. Warmth and laughter. And now I sound like a hippie, when I'm a dyed in the wool skeptic :P Just come and you'll see.

Thank you so kindly for this. Everything you expressed is exactly what we were hoping for when we started this. It’s wonderful to hear we are bringing those principles to fruition, and it’s wonderful having you there 🌈

I am so glad that this island emerged to give shelter and nourishment to all of us swimming hard, hoping to get somewhere.
The freewriters have landed and are loving it. We are home now. 🌴

This literally choked me up. Thank you @mariannewest. You and the freewriters have made it more a home for all of us!

The Isle is an amazing place to kick off your shoes, grab a drink, and let the creativity flow!

Thank you so much! Can't wait to see you there again :)

I highly recommend this community to all sorts of creatives on Steemit, especially to writers and bloggers (and it's huge as every Steemian is a blogger!).

Thank you so much! The Isle is lucky to have your support and participation. And you make a great point that all Steemians are bloggers! We aim to have a place for everyone who wishes to find community and connection ❤️

While free-diving off the coast of the island, I shall keep my eyes peeled among the corals of the reef for any promising minnows. Also, I've found the isle of writes a wonderful place to come ashore and have a beer in the pub and interact with my fellow humans. A great place to bounce ideas back and forth, to put all of that ocean-born-inspiration into words and get help to hone those words into a fantastic steemit post. Good luck with the group @isleofwrite 😎

Scuba scribe logo final.jpg

Thank you so much @raj808. For your participation, your lovely writing, and for carrying the island theme into your comment ;)

Hm... now I'm wondering if a poetry pond is deep enough for @raj808?

Ha ha.

If I can put on my scuba gear @geke,
I can plumb the depths of poetry pond.
Discover worlds within words, sticleback,
trout and aged sturgeon, while sculling

through weeds, searching!

That was too good an opportunity, for poetry, to miss 😉

Coming over today to join in the fun! Excellent idea! Love to meet everyone...

Awesome @cecicastor! Looking forward to meeting you :)

What's under the X? The money pit? Great map!

@pegasusphysics completely outdid herself! It's incredible isn't it? As for the X? The treasure will be revealed in time ;)

I just joined the isle of write and found myself a home among my green comrades! I am improving daily with the encouragement of the islanders. Come join us and discover the mysteries of the isle.

Hahaha! The Green Army is strong indeed. We're so happy you feel you're benefitting from the Isle and the community there.

I'm so glad you value what you've found there! My plan is to change my color periodically, so I may join you on the green team soon. 😃

This is wonderful and made me giggle and smile and be glad to be here.

I'm not on discord much, but two things I want to tell you about here, if I may. One is the pun contest I run weekly. I'd love to have more lovely folks on there. Everybody who loves puns seems to be a lovely person, and that makes me so proud. Please stop by for a giggle and to try your hand at punning yourself. We are also built on the idea that everyone deserves a friendly chuckle. Here's this week's:

And 2: speaking of things that I think are great, but that no one noticed at the time... I'd love to resurrect my Open Source Interactive Story project. Maybe someone could take a look and see if they want to write a paragraph? Here's the introduction to the project:
What is this:

and here's the first story I started telling with it: Start the story here:

@improv I just started an interactive story. I wasnt sure if ya'll were still doing it, or still using the osis tag, but I used it. I hope to have another one for next week. :)

Let me know when you do another... And do you intend for yours to be open source? Can others contribute branches to your decision trees?


Others could contribute branches. I wasn't sure how to continue it, or if it would be wanted.

Good good! Once I have a few moments, I need to head back to it and give it a shot. You know that mine is just begging for more branches, yes? I imagine it one day ranging across an epic swath of story.

@improv we are so happy to have you here, and even happier to have made you giggle! Giggles are great :)

I (jrhughes) was actually checking out and very much enjoying your pun contest but my vote power was flagging. I'm back up and running now and will revisit it soon! If it isn't posted in the Isle's contest links channel, put it there for sure!

I'm... Still discord illiterate. is there a direct link for that?

@Improv I generated this invite from the contest channel and it should go right to it but they can be finicky. If it just plunks you back in the Isle, look along the left sidebar menu. There is a list of channels under various categories (the categories can be collapsed or dropped down) and the category you're looking for is Sharing Shores. The channel listed under it is contest-links. I'm going to ping you from that room as well, so you should get a notification and by clicking on the notification you magically teleport to the correct channel as well.

Safe travels!

Aww, this is beautiful!! <3

Thanks so much Uni!

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your message is warmly received. This place is so awesome, wish I could be somewhere like this.

Maybe I'm telling my age, but Deep Purple suits me! Great write-up Jess!

Ha! If that's telling your age, you're in good company lol! Thanks so much. Sorry I missed you earlier but I'm sure I'll catch you in sometime :)

I'm still not sure that I'm cut out of the 'chat life' but I do enjoy reading through people's links and whatnot on there. I feel like I'm too verbose and too scattered to keep up with chat conversations. Either that or I'm too slow and too old. Not sure what it is, but I always feel lost in chat rooms.

@byn - the Isle is whatever you want it to be. There is no obligation at all to chat or engage in any way. And if anything in the chats (I know we have so many in there now) confuses you - just dm one of us. We'll gladly help if help is what's needed. Thrilled to have you with us however you choose to be there :-)

Thank you. I am finding it a great place to meet other writers and bloggers like myself, so thus far it's been great for me. I feel like I'm not a very good 'member' as far as participating, but this has been refreshing to read just because of the amazing welcoming acceptance of everyone. It's a great community that I found thanks to @mariannewest and the freewrites.

Thank you for the reassurances!

For us, a "good member" is a "kind visitor" so you are golden @byn <3
We're thrilled to have you and the freewriters there whatever your level of participation!

I'm so glad to have found this group. It seems like every five minutes here on Steemit I'm stumbling into some warm, creative, utopian community that gives the warm and fuzzies immediately. I'm an optimist and I'm stoked to get even more involved. Headed to Discord now!