Rhymer’s Blog on Life
|You know what? I’m proud of you, oh ye members of Writing.Com.
Too often, reviews of WDC are given by newbies who misunderstand what this site is for. These neophytes toss around an ill-qualified and mostly absent review because they don’t know how immense and helpful this tool can be. And even though I’ve been here for only five months and still haven’t gone much further than the downtown area, I’ve been out walking the streets of WDC on my own, taking in the landmarks and marking the places I like on my little map. I’ve started to create my own unique experience here, and it’s because I want to.
Sure, WDC is huge and daunting. There’s a competition for every interest with all types of rules and challenges. For me, these contests are vital to learning, new ways to force myself down that extra mile. I’ve entered seven competitions around this site; I’ve won one and placed second in a main competition. It feels good to place, and the rewards are really cool. Add to that the members stopping by to express their “Congrats!”, and it’s not hard for one to find a feeling of satisfying fullness. And, the most important part, at the end of a competition, I’m left with the questions: was it a good piece, was it strong, and will people out in the real world like it? Competitions help me figure out where I am and where I’m going, especially as a new writer who is trying to light up his dark way. I lose more often than I place, but in the end, I’ve created something I stand by, and I always learn something new to schlep with me to the next contest.
Of course, you can’t review WDC without realizing the metaphor of the stage upon which we act out the craziness in our heads. I’ve written for something like thirty-five years, but I knew I was no Stephen King, no Rod Serling, so what’s the point of trying to feel like a writer? And so now I have a large box of scraps of stories, pieces of things written but never really explored. When I signed on to WDC, it only took a few days to realize that I am a writer. The world doesn’t need another King or Serling; the world doesn’t have another Rhymer Reisen. WDC has allowed me to find validation for and from myself as a writer, and now it’s evolving to become a philosophy and spirituality.
While doing reviews is not my favorite activity on this site, I do understand how important they are. During the entire time I was writing before accepting that I am a writer, I never had feedback, never knew where I stood under the rainbow of reality concerning the craft. There’s little sunshine when it comes to writing pieces nobody will ever see. The point of the reviews is not to tear anyone down, but to build each other up, to teach each other how to grow. The more reviews I do, the more I realize what I’m looking for in a piece, the more I learn how to read. Yeah, you scanned that with your eyes correctly. I’ve been reading longer than I can remember, but there’s an art to reading and analyzing what a writer is trying to say. I can now recognize devices and sleights-of-hand that were only magic to me before. And I love that, because it’s another opportunity to grow.
And, look, the people have, to me, been amazing. Sure, there are a few cliques, and there are some jerks who aren’t looking to grow so much as they need their ego to shine, but whenever there are enough people to create a social situation, there will be cliques and jerks. These become easier to ignore. (Just a word of warning to those younger…don’t ever in your entire life mess with cliques…stay away if you value who you are.) My only real experiences concerning other people on WDC have been inspirational and eye-opening. I’m friends with a woman who is twenty years older than myself, and my heart is lifted when I think of her pouring her heart out, when I picture her reading grammar books so she can improve. In "Rising Stars Summer Camp" by Lilli Munster ☕ , there are a couple of high school students, there are a couple who speak a language native to them that isn’t English nor American, and everyone comes from a different experience. It’s so beautiful. One of my friends here has created more than a hundred pieces during the last three months, and they’re quality works. I wanna do that! But don’t forget the yellow-cases and moderators! I know some of these work around the clock to ensure this site moves smoothly, to encourage and push each other. They put so much of themselves into it, and they expect precious little. I believe people on this site are incredibly brave, and I feel as if The Universe smiled on me since the day I singed up.
If you’re a newbie with an account date after mine, go easy on your review of the site until you’ve explored and discovered your own version of this tool. There are so many resources around from "Writing.Com 101" by The StoryMistress to the moderators who are happy to answer questions, so there’s no reason to misunderstand nor misuse the site. It is not a pedestal upon which one thrusts an ego to be adored. It is not a permanent spotlight, not a place to come in and “take over”. It is a tool, and its effectiveness can only be achieved with the desire to learn . For me, just shoving my ego out of the way so I can jump in and learn is all it took, and I can see clearly I’m becoming better, both as a writer and a human.
And that’s worth five stars, to discover who I feel called to be.