Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Literary Masochism Realized

I have been posting to this blog for 6 months now. In that time, I have received little notice. A comment here and there, but nothing of any consequence. Then two or three days ago, I received a flood of comments on a post I made in March. Literary Masochism was my first impression of a writer's site, Everything2. All of the comments came from members of E2. Besides the couple of grammatical critiques of my post, the general tone was that I had the wrong impression of E2. While they were sticklers in regards to the right way to write, they seemed eager to help out flounders such as myself. "Please join in, you will not regret it", was the overwhelming sentiment.

I was very suprised. Here I have been writng in the wilderness for 6 months and all of a sudden one of my posts gets more comments than the other 100 or so combined. A bit flattered that folks from a site far away were taking the time to visit mine, I decided to activate my membership. I spent most of last Sunday mucking around the rules and regs. When I thought I had a clue, I took one of my early blog posts and created a write-up.

Sure that it would be shot down, I was not disappointed. I think it lasted maybe 10 minutes, before one of the mucky mucks of the site blew it away. I was not bothered much by this. I expected it. But what I hoped for did not happen. I had hoped some comment about why it was deleted would be made available to me. Instead, it just disappeared with a little message that told me it was now in "node heaven". Forget the positive feedback, there was not even any negative feedback.

My immediate knee jerk response was to move on. I have never been a joiner. So screw em. But as I sit here and type words that only I will see, I realize that if I blow them off, I may be losing a chance to help myself become a better writer. This site seems set up to make that happen. So, I will lick my wounds and consider my next move. I will go back.

1 comment:

Mike Sugarbaker said...

Is a "tough audience" really what you need at this stage in your development as a writer? What are your goals for your writing?

Will E2 teach you to be a better writer? Or will it just teach you to write one of the three or four specific kinds of article that E2 doesn't shoot down?

E2 is actually a publication. As with any publication, you'll get a few rejections before you get in. However, as a publication, E2's editor has multiple personalities - exactly as many of them as there are users with content-editing privileges. Some will give you useful feedback, some won't.

Nearly all professional editors of conventional publications will give you feedback of some kind.

[Disclaimer: I am a former E2 user. No, there were no internet-community politics, I just sort of stopped.]