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Novel Writers Embrace Emojis On Slack

Novel Incubator writer Jaime Vander Velde talks about how she and her fellow writers have embraced using emojis to communicate on Slack.

By Jaime A. Vander Velde

November 04, 2022

In addition to the bi-monthly meetings for book inc, each writing cohort has a dedicated Slack group where we post daily. The 2022 Novel Incubator took to the Slack channel like ducklings to water—perhaps a bit hesitant in our posts at first, but quickly swimming along. We share questions, concerns, daily writing progress, pictures of our pets, vacations, and hometowns in a wide array of channels. This has built camaraderie and community in our group.

Almost as quickly as our Slack became filled with photos, comments, and words, it also became filled with another form of communication, emojis. Wikipedia defines “emojis” as “a pictogram, logogram, ideogram or smiley embedded in text and used in electronic messages and web pages. The primary function of emoji is to fill in emotional cues otherwise missing from typed conversation.”

Prior to the Novel Incubator, my relationship with emojis mainly resided in the realm of texting. My emoji use is sparse in messages to friends or on social media. I mean, I am a writer, I rely on words, not images to express a thought. However, that has changed on Slack. For me and my fellow Novel Incubator writers, emojis have created a secondary layer of commentary on Slack.

I suppose just like the cave drawings throughout the world we have indeed come full circle to communicating in images. We writers who love words have also embraced the use of emojis to express ourselves. We use them to show our progress (a green check mark = “we hit our goal”), to indicate the weather in our area (“orange leaves” = Autumn here), and to encourage our fellow writers (a red heart = “love this”). Here are some more examples of the emojis we use and what they stand for.

Emoji Key

Jaime Vander Velde is currently working on a novel in book inc’s Novel Incubator program. She is a teacher, amateur genealogist, and writer. Jaime lives in the wilds of suburban Monmouth County, NJ.