Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Word-woven Nest

Nathan Bransford wrote an excellent post on networking recently that homed in on my perspective of establishing contacts in and outside the publishing industry.

He advised people to view networking more as an opportunity to invest in friendships. He also raised a worthwhile point—the value of building something.

Of course that led me to evaluate what I’m building here at ~thoughts that move~, and on my FB writer page, and on Twitter…etc.

It didn’t take me long to come up with that answer.

I’m building a safe place for (primarily) women to engage in stimulating conversation.

And of course that led me to wonder what my answer entails. Well, on this I 8 Wednesday, I’m going to flesh out what’s involved in building the word-woven nest…

8 Unique Aspects I’m Intentionally Building:

Nonjudgmental Atmosphere
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I don’t comment on Fridays. I want anyone who comments to feel entirely free to write whatever comes to mind. I don’t want my input to sway any thoughts or lead anyone to answer a certain way. Every single day I learn more and more about how it’s not my place to judge. I want that to come across loud and clear here and anywhere else my thoughts travel.

Dialogue about Books, Writing, Reading
No surprise here. I heart books. I heart writing. I heart reading. So, yep, I plan to shake up conversation about all three. As a women’s fiction author (writer...take your pick), novels are of particular interest to me.

Vulnerable Approach
I’ve lived through a lot. So have you. U2 sings, “There’s nothing you can throw at me that I haven’t already heard.” I live vulnerably because I have nothing to hide. Open book here, peeps.

Vision to Poke & Stir Thoughts
My thoughts move. River fast. I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one who appreciates growing mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. (Done growing physically. Hear that, Snickers?)

Open-minded Environment
I don’t know everything. I could squeeze a lesson out of a rock. And instead of squeezing, I’d just have to touch it. My sensory aptitude is permanently heightened. Must have been dropped on my head as a kid. Either way, it inspires me to keep an open mind.

Invite Friends & Strangers Mentality
All are welcome here. While I focus a lot of my energy on bantering with women, I want everyone to feel welcome.

*I will, however, turn you away at the door if you offer only rudeness, inappropriateness, or hurtful comments.

Discussion of Relatable and Relevant Issues for Women
As previously stated, women are my audience. I appeal to you. I pay attention to what personally grabs me as a woman and I write about it, hoping you’ll be inspired, moved to action, or simply moved to think.

A Faith-based Worldview (this shows up organically)
I’m a believer so you’ll see God’s face here. Sometimes I go back over my posts and think, what do you know, He showed up again. He’s good like that.

Have you been intentional about what you are building? What are you building and what’s involved in the weaving?

*photos by flickr


  1. I feel like blogging and all my cyber activities are intentional in building relationships but also in expanding my cyber "name". However...I definitely haven't analyzed things as thoroughly as you! lol
    Great breakdown though. I do lub you and think your blog and you are wonderful. :)

  2. I love your blog and find myself cyberstalking you regularly. I don't often comment on blogs, when I should. I think I have this insecurity thing going on where I don't want to seem argumentative/goofy/wierd, etc.

    I love how you breakdown things. It makes me feel like I get you! You go girl.

  3. Gosh, I love your voice woman. And I love the environment you've created her. Talk about establishing an authentic brand. I know some people cringe at that word. But really, it's just WHO we are. And you are being authentic and real and it shines through and it's easy to define. Women's fiction that stirs and stimulates conversation. It's your blog and it's your books. Because it's YOU! Great stuff, chica.

  4. Love this post. Not sure I've ever broke it down like this. I see God show up here all the time! :)

  5. Wendy, your blog is one of my favorites, because it's always so creative, fresh, and real. You don't seem like you're trying to impress anyone, but you are totally impressive anyway! :)

    For me, I just starting blogging a few months ago, and I'm trying to build a space that shows my heart, so I write about writing, yes, but also about things I'm learning in my own walk with God, in hopes that others will see they aren't the only ones who struggle with faith issues. I have tried to explore that in my own writing as well. I suppose it comes from my past struggles with loss, tragedy, and doubt.

    In the end, I just want people to have a lifeline, to know that they're not alone.

    And of course, I'm loving the chance to make new friends. :)

    OK, I've rambled enough! Happy Wednesday!

  6. Yes, this is so awesomely you, Wendy!

    I don't know if I've been completely intentional about what I'm building, but I love to chit chat on my blog, on Twitter, on other blogs, on Facebook. I love building relationships.

    I will say that I do tend to overanalyze the whole brand-building and whether I'm heading in the right direction. Sometimes I think the answer is yes, other times... not so much. But my attitude is that I just have to keep plugging along, making mistakes, making friends, and eventually, it all works out according to plan.

  7. You've built something great around here!

  8. Great post, Wendy! The "vulnerable approach" stood out to me in particular. I would so much rather learn from and grow with writers who are open works in progress...laughing and crying together on this great adventure.

  9. Interesting question. I suppose what I'm building is an author-life. I'm weaving together final approval of my novel's cover and interior proof, while building a book trailer, putting finishing touches on a book website, planning a blog book-tour ... I'm beginning to feel like a literary architect :)

  10. Thanks for weaving this place where you are so open and honest and refreshing.

  11. I enjoy spending time in the nest you've built here at your cyber home. It's a place where I feel free to be me, and that's a testimony to you, Wendy. =)

  12. Great thoughts - I'll have to check out that article. Love the idea of building/weaving friendships.

  13. I've gotta say, Nathan is the master of networking.

    Your eight unique aspects are well thought out, Wendy. Outstanding.

  14. I love the atmosphere of your blog, Wendy, because of all the things you listed. I love it when people are real, and I completely feel that from you. :)

  15. I like your post, it's so what's been going through my mind the last several months. Approaching blogging, etc. with a certain purpose and that's building a specific atmosphere that really represents me and what I write. And I hope that includes a lot of what you mentioned above, especially a place where women can really be themselves.

  16. I see all those threads woven here whenever I visit. Great job, my friend.

  17. Great post. Im trying to be more intentional and also trying to add more continuity to all my Social Media/Networking. I think we all just want our readers to feel at home!

  18. Just got back from our mom's group.

    Jessica, I lub lub. Cyber name. Rang funny to me for some reason.

    Bonnie, And thanks for commenting, and uh, well the cyberstalking...I guess. ;) Oh, and for the record, I'm weird. No question there. No trying to hide it either.

    Wow, Katie, could I just keep you in my pocket so anytime I need a little lift...I tell ya, those words hit home. Thanks for 'em.

    Jessica, Thanks for the God comment. Just as He's not forceful with us, I'm not with Him. I don't stuff Him into my posts, my novels, or my conversations but more often than not He shows up anyway. Love that!

    Lindsay, I was immediately drawn to your blog and how I've seen you "handle" (strange word choice) yourself online. I'm glad we are building a friendship & I plan to get back w/ you by early next week (email).

    Heather, I think that's often how we find our way--to take detours and offroads. And to enjoy the conversation along the path. I get you on that, woman.

    Susan, Thanks & I'm enjoying your walk down memory lane with your posts lately.

    Joanne, Ain't that the truth?! Not a day goes by when I don't think I. Have. So. Much. To. Learn!

    Joanne, I'm so excited how close you are. Your story pulled me in so I'm eager to read it.

    Erica, Felt that exact same thing after I read your post this morning.

    Keli, That is truly one of the richest compliments. I want people to feel exactly that--FREE to speak, express, and engage here. :D

    Stacy, Yeah, that's what it feels like. I can't tell you how many times I've been blown away by the comments here or deeply inspired.

    Loree, You know, it really didn't take long to get to those b/c it's what I've been after for years. It's also the heart of what I built when I created a mom's group in OH. Women offer such support and encouragement to one another. I love building that. Oh, and I think we need to start calling Nathan, Yoda N.

    Heidi, I've scared a few folk in my time b/c of it. But so be it. What you see...

    (I still can't comment on your blog, lady. I want to, but I can't.)

    Cindy, I always feel I can be myself when I visit your site. You invite that & I'm grateful!

    Sarah, Me likey what you're building over at your place as well.

    Jan, Nailed it. That at home feeling is essential--to create that welcome and feeling of belonging. Such an excellent point!

    Well, I'm spent. I did a whole load of nothing (or should I say dozens of small things) today. Mom's group felt great. Swinging back by here felt great.

    It's my hope you'll sleep trusting in God & that you learn a little more every day exactly what a faith kind of trust entails.
    ~ Wendy

  19. Wendy,
    So much to ponder in this post. I perused it. Left the post up and went on with my day. Came back and read it again.
    Every time I think, "Wow, I like Wendy Paine Miller a lot!" you give me another reason to like you even more.
    I like your view of life, my friend.
    I like how you live intentionally.
    And I feel welcome at your blog.
    Really, I do.
    Hope I never give you reason to turn me away at the door.

  20. about knowing your purpose, your vision. I'll be honest, my blogging is floundering lately in a flood of uncertainty.

    This post didn't tell me how to fix that, but it sure showed me what it looks like to be certain.

    Thank you for being purposeful; it gives me pause to reach for the same.


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