Community Cryptid

Have I reached the point I can move to the woods and become a local cryptid? As long as I’ve got wifi, I can still write, but maybe I can subsist on fallen leaves and the screams of those who seek my presence? I could be the Writing Hermit, a gaunt figure that leaves inkstains on the trunks of trees. If you ever find yourself wandering the woods and discover a random papercut, that means he’s near. Beware!

So it’s been one of those weeks that I want to just hide. I don’t need people. Just let me hide.

Writing seems like one of those careers that you might be able to do alone. Write a manuscript and ship it off to a publisher or an editor or simply summon the Amazon spirits to waft the book away to their warehouses.

It’s true that the raw act of creation, at least for me, is often done in solitude. Forming worlds one syllable at a time takes me. Only me. No committees here.

But after that… I need community.

I need my editor to tell me when I’ve been stupid.

I need my beta readers to tell me when I’ve failed and when I’ve succeeded.

I need my proofreader to remind me how commas work.

I suppose I could skip all those steps. I’m able to revise on my own, just as I create on my own. But here’s the catch: If I want to create something worth the time of other people, I need other people involved. Worlds may have taken up residence in my head, but to make sure I communicate them well, I need other eyes, other minds. I know what I mean, but does anyone else? That’s why I need the anyone else’s.

Which means that if I become a local cryptid, I’m going to need a few other cryptids with me. Call us the Inkstained. We leave manuscripts tied with twine and human hair. The papers smell faintly of lemongrass and brimstone.

If you find one of our sheaves, take it. It is a gift. Read the first page.

If there’s a bloodstain, don’t worry. That’s because we’re also accident-prone. It’s not an omen. Trust me.

As you read, if you’ll occasionally gasp in wonder or simply say, “My, what an amazing work of art this is,” we’d be grateful.

And as we hear you, we’ll scamper deeper into the woods in our individual holes and get to work on the next manuscript.


Dawnsbrook! A new press has been born! But what does it mean? What will it produce? We’ll start talking more about that in the next month.

But for now, Dawnsbrook is here!

Published by Jon

Jon lives in Kentucky with his wife and an insanity of children. (A group of children is called an insanity. Trust me.)

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