Let me start by saying, humor that is hurtful or at the expense of other writers has no place in the writing industry. Board fights and flame wars do not belong in the writing community. This should be about writing. Online writing communities have become a cutthroat, often uncaring part of cyber world.
In order to succeed in writing, I've always believed that we must come together and help each other. I do not understand the attitude many writers have adopted of stabbing their fellow writer in the back.
I've always looked at the other writing communities and other writers out there as a part of my community, rather than competitors. I don't pretend to know everything and though I run a writing community; I'm still learning like many of you. It is sad though that many writers don't share the same opinions as me. They would rather compete than bridge together. Am I the only voice saying," As a writers it is time we bridge together as one?" “It is time that we helped one another."
Some may be looking at our community of writers and thinking," I'm not going to join Today's Woman because it's too cutthroat and it won't be a community." “It will be like the rest that I have joined.” Well you are wrong because we are a community. The more I look at the bickering and flame wars on some of the other writing communities, I have found Today’s Woman writing community to be very supportive. We're like a big happy family as opposed to some of the other communities, which are cutthroat and competitive or filled with trolls and writers insulting their fellow writers.
Don't ever let anyone tell you that we don't have some exceptionally warm, caring, and professional people who choose to submit their content to Todays-Woman.net. Most importantly don't let anyone tell you that you can not write. I've enjoyed working with and getting to know the members within my community , as well as so many others in the writing industry. Over the past two months I have met more authors and writers with simply no values or no morals. I have seen writing communities that were suppose to be there to help writers become infested with bickering, name calling and flame wars.
Don't let your career go down in flames. The reason is that your reputation speaks for you and you never have to badmouth anyone in order to make yourself look better. The way you carry yourself speaks volumes. Don't put your reputation on the line by getting into flame wars. I have learned that in writing your credibility is everything. I also want to thank my husband who gave me an important bit of advice he said, “They are critiquing you not because there was anything wrong with your writing but it was because you wrote it." As a writer we should never second guess our writing because of what someone said. Professional writers will help you improve your writing not make fun of your writing.
Also don't ever belittle another writer to save your own behind. Recently I had the members of a well known writing community email another website, regarding one of my articles . They sent 43 complaints so that the editor of the website would remove it. One of the letters stated," The article contained many typos, and I didn't feel the author communicated her ideas very clearly." When I received wind of this I contacted the editor of the website and she replied, “But I did receive no less than forty-three (43) emails complaining about the spelling errors and the grammatical problems. That's much higher than we are used to dealing with." "We generally don't receive complaint emails." “The members in the forum you pointed me to are now criticizing me and the quality of my sites." That should have been her first clue that this was nothing more than a witch hunt to get my article removed. Therefore she fed me to the witches instead of supporting me as a writer.
One of my own members recently submitted an article to me that had a few spelling and grammar errors. He and I worked together to improve the errors in his article. The article was very well written I might add. However that is what we do as writers, we help one another. Would it not of been better for that editor to point out that I had errors in my article and they would need to be fixed before she could publish it on her website?
To be a successful writer you need three things: Belief in yourself, a strong backbone and a good reputation. You can be the greatest writer ever but if you are in the market for backstabbing and getting into flame wars on message boards, then you might as well put up your notebook and pen and join a chat room. There you can let your fingers run aimlessly over the keyboard as much as you like.
I have gotten into enough flame wars on message boards defending my website reputation and my writing. I shouldn't need to defend my writing to anyone and neither should you. I realize that spelling and grammar may not be one of my best qualities however that is why we have editors. I appreciate nothing more than someone coming to me and pointing out in a polite manner that I have a spelling or grammar mistake. This way I may improve on the quality of my next article.
This is a cutthroat world and there are going to be those that tell you that you can't write and that your publishing company is a joke and they will take your most compassionate poem and make it resembles something they would wipe their butt with. I have learned you need one tough back bone in this cutthroat industry. I also have learned that the ones doing the insulting have no more of a reputation than you in this industry. They have gone with pod publishers or have never been published outside of the web or made some bad career choices regarding who they published with.
In closing some advice, you need to tell yourself "I am a writer first and foremost and I'll be damned if I ever let anyone tell me different." To the 43 writers who felt it necessary to poke fun at some serious articles that I wrote all I can say is poke away. Some of those articles were on some serious issues, like keeping your child safe on the internet. While you are only questioning my grammar, spelling and the structure of my sentences; someone is reading my article and taking my important advice to heart. That same advice might just save their child's life. Belittle away if it makes you feel better. I write because I love to write and I have something to say. If you don't like what I have to say, don't read it.
(c) Rose DesRochers
Rose is a published author and web columnist.