Monday, 10 August 2009

Final Goodbye to The Fiction Workhouse

A final goodbye to the Fiction Workhouse, the online place I created back in February 2007, and where I worked for most of those two and a half years, writing, chivvying, critiquing, analysing, discussing, arguing, and bollocking.
I have taken breaks, even ‘left’ once intending not to go back, then did. But this is different.
Recent experiences are still taking their toll. I can’t work with people I don’t know well personally any more. I can’t post any unpublished work for feedback any more. I don’t even really want to read it out to anyone else. Although I will, I know. It is just harder to do right now. I need company and am getting that from my family.
I can’t expend huge amounts of energy supporting anyone else’s writing journey any more, both my hands having been bitten so badly. I need all that energy for my own journey.
But more importantly, if I am not there online, chivving, keeping an eye, I don’t know that things are still as rigorous, as focussed and as hardworking as I always wanted them to be in ‘my place’.
So, the forum has been taken out of my vast internet holdings and it is now officially owned by someone else. And it will no longer be called The Fiction Workhouse. I retain that domain name, and may well use it again in years to come. Besides, what if the site becomes a site for bad erotica writers? With zombies doing the erotics? And happy twist-in-the-tail/tale endings? What if it becomes in time just any old writing place, chat shop mostly and no focus, strings of low-grade hits and everyone rushing around congratulating everyone else when in their hearts they know it and they could/should be working differently. No progression?

Then it would not be The Fiction Workhouse would it?

As soon as I know the name I will add it here. And at some point I will write a post describing the vision that led to me setting it up, and how it was configured. How it worked.

(pic from HERE)


Sarah Hilary said...

Zombies, erotica, low grade hits... Oh dear! That reads like my resume.

Seriously, V, thank you thank you for creating the place, for allowing me to be a part of it, and for passing the reins to A.N. Other rather than simply shutting it down.

Good luck on your own journey, may it be fruitful and rich with writing.

S x

Susan said...

Vanessa, I'm so sorry to hear about the demise of the Fiction Workhouse and the reasons for it.
I enjoyed my time there, although it wasn't quite right for me in the end. I wasn't doing flash(still don't) and few short stories (though many have found the light of day since then).

Good luck.

Sue Haigh

Lauri Kubuitsile said...

I think I hear a bit of sadness in there, and that's too bad. It's also sad that your bitten hands had to be pulled back. My wish is that they heal nicely. I think a rest is always a good thing.

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Thanks Sarah - I thin'hope your resume has a tad more to it... dinosaurs, as well, maybe? Talking ones?

Sue, lovely to hear from you! Hpe all goes well with your lovely new magazine venture, and the novel of course. Its just a change of ownership and name, really. The old ship saileth on, as far as I know!

Hi Lauri, well... a bit sad when a thing draws to a close, but as I say, it is still there, and will still be a terrific place for writers, if I know the people there at all.

Tania Hershman said...

As one of the original members of FW, I gained an enormous amount, made great friends that are still my closest writing colleagues! Thank you so much, V, for setting it up. I left at a certain point which was right for me, but it was a very influential place for me in that part of my life. May you - and the FW in its new incarnation - flourish in all ways!

Susannah Rickards said...

Dear V,

Thank you for having set it up in the first place, and for running it with such vast reserves of energy and commitment.

I have made friends for life, whose feedback I value extremely highly, from the brief spell at FW. Not to mention writing, getting critted and rewriting a story in a day which earned me a grand. That wouldn't have happened if it hadn't been for FW.

I'm particularly glad to hear you recognise you need to devote your energy to your own writing. Constantly critting others is time consuming and energy depleting.

All the best for now and the future,


Sally Zigmond said...

Fiction Forge--that's the new name. Although you probably know by now.