Behind the Scenes at Two Writing Teachers

orchestra

In a darkened concert hall, the members of an orchestra sit ready and waiting. The conductor, in black and white coat-tails walks across the stage, gives an appreciative nod to the audience, then steps up to the podium and lifts her arms, signaling the beginning. As her hand marks the first few measures, the music cascades in big, full, harmonic chords. Each member of the orchestra plays the piece perfectly, in one voice.

What the audience doesn’t see, and would never guess, are the countless auditions, rehearsals, deadlines, and do-overs that made that night’s concert possible. Though the music reaches the audience’s ears in one fluid melody, it is composed of a hundred separate instruments’ parts, each musician bringing her own hard work, her own unique talents and skills, contributing to success on concert night.

What you may not realize, as a reader of Two Writing Teachers, is that there is a secret world of work behind the scenes, all coming together to make our blog work. Much like the musicians in an orchestra, each of us brings our own set of skills and talents. Like a night at the orchestra, there is a coordinated effort. At Two Writing Teachers, ours is accomplished via emails, phone calls, Google Chats, and shared calendars. There is planning, far in advance for every blog series, Twitter chat, Tuesday Slice of Life challenge, and the March Slice of Life Challenge. Each of us plays our part.

You also might not know that all of this is coordinated by our fearless leader, Stacey Shubitz. Stacey co-founded this blog in 2007 with Ruth Ayres (thus the name Two Writing Teachers). When Ruth moved on in 2013, Stacey conducted an extensive search to find a balance of teachers and coaches to create a diverse group of bloggers from across the United States. That’s when Tara, Betsy, Anna, Dana, and I joined her. Recently Deb and Kathleen joined our team. All of us volunteer our time to the blog, and contribute as much as we can. But Stacey has been behind the scenes all this time, facilitating and guiding us every step of the way.

A few weeks ago, I offered to “sub” for Stacey, just temporarily. I was astounded at the number of questions Stacey answers daily. I developed a new appreciation for the time she spends moderating, trouble-shooting, and generally taking care of the blog and its readers. I had known from the start that Stacey was a gifted organizer and leader, but my little foray backstage opened my eyes to what it really takes to facilitate a blog that currently has 2,000-3,000 readers a day.

Recently we co-authors met over Google Chat, as we periodically do, to coordinate and plan. As a group we decided that a title that recognizes Stacey as a writer and director would be an appropriate way to credit her for all that she does for the blog, the team, and the readers.

Please join us in congratulating and honoring Stacey, our Chief of Operations and Lead Writer in recognition of her dedicated leadership. She truly is our conductor, bringing together all of our talents so that our voices can shine.