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This week: I'm CuriousEdited by: Jace
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Hi, I'm Jace .
Welcome to this issue of the Noticing Newbies newsletter. Join me as I take you into some nooks and crannies of Writing.Com that you may not have found time to check out yet. This newsletter is about and for you. And for you seasoned members, I hope you'll find something you can take from my ramblings.
So curious in fact that I've created a Survey in which I hope you'll respond about your experiences with Writing.Com (WDC). But first a short history lesson about WDC.
Oh, and while this is a newsletter for Newbies, I welcome Survey responses from any WDC member. I'll separate the responses for my next newletter.
WDC was created as Stories.Com in September 2000 by a husband-wife team who call themselves The StoryMaster and The StoryMistress . The Storymaster is a programmer responsible for all the technical features, the actual nuts and bolts of the site, while the StoryMistress is a graphics designer responsible for the graphics user interface, as well as the design of the items we take for granted such as merit badges, Awardicons and the general layout of the site's pages. Please forgive my gross over-simplification here; understand their part in creating and maintaining this site is much more complex than what I stated.
What started as a reading platform soon evolved into a fledgling writing site renamed Writing.Com. In the words of the StoryMaster, Writing.Com considers itself to be a peer-to-peer writing environment where authors collaborate to improve their writings and their writing skills. We do not consider Writing.Com to be any type of publishing venue. Twenty years later, WDC is arguably the premier writing site on the Internet today.
So I'd like to know what brings you to Writing.Com. And what makes you stay.
Please take about 15 or 20 minutes to answer the questions posed in the following survey. While I'm asking folks to include their Username, I won't share it unless you give permission for me to do so. I will share the information received from your answers in my next newsletter on/about 24 Mar.
I look forward to reading your responses. Thank you.
Check out this forum designed to assist Newbies.
Then drop in on these Newbies. Take a moment to review this offering ... or something else in their Port. Welcome them to WDC through a scribble in their Notebook.
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Thanks for spending time with me today. At the bottom of every newsletter is a section entitled
Don't Be Shy! Write Into This Newsletter!
From the Newsfeed:
From elephantsealer : One measure of anyone's writing abilities is when her/his work is accepted/has been accepted by, and released as a book, by a publisher. It seems, nowadays, publishers are riding high when it comes to writers' works. Publication of one's work, I think, seems the ultimate acceptance of one's writing; although in my own thinking, I believe if one's work is good, then the writer herself/himself should know it is good; and no publisher or whoever can tell her/him that the work is not publishable.
Agreed. Except if the writer believes publication to be THE measure of success, then the publisher holds the cards.
From Dr. Alex Dolittle : I don't like to measure my abilities to be honest. It can drag ya down real quick if you aren't careful.
I suspect a writer needs to develop a thick skin when it comes to his or her writings.
From jolanh : When I first started i thought I was good. I went back and read some of the old stuff and saw how far I've come.
I too like to re-read my older material. But what I really need to do is take the time to edit and update that material.
From MichaelLomas : I sit and stare out the window and fantasize about doing a book signing at some distant bookstore. I eventually realize that most people aren't reading physical books anymore. I have a good cry. Then I hope you fine people have something positive to say.
I always hope folks treat my work with respect. Then I try to remember it's just their opinion.
From Steven, Rejected By All : As a teenager, I trusted my friends. They told me they loved my work, and I fell victim to what I now call “Idol Syndrome”. That comes from those deluded individuals who appear in the opening rounds of American Idol and similar shows and the judges tell them they’re rubbish but they insist they’re not because their mums say they’re so good. Well, my friends did that to me. It probably caused me to waste five years of learning time because I trusted them.
Then I started to compare myself to other writers. I ignored what others told me and looked at writers I admired and tried to mimic them. This resulted in a very terse rejection letter telling me the world did not need a fifth rate Stephen King when it had the real deal, and another rejection letter accusing me of writing Stephen King pastiches.
So, in my later 20s, I started to simply write the stories I wanted to read in the style I wanted to have them presented. I wrote for me and me alone. After a few years of developing my own style, I had my first publication in my early 30s. Now, over 120 acceptances later (I don’t do self-publishing), I think I have my own style going okay. Sure, I don’t win any awards, I rarely get recognition from others, but I like what I write (most of the time) and that is all that matters.
Then there is the case for being accepted in magazines, online writing sites and by publishers. Is that a way of measuring myself? No, not really. It does mean I have appealed to some-one else (the editor/slush reader/whoever) but I am persistent and have a huge backlog of stories I can draw from, so, to me, that is just a way of measuring the hard work I put into my writing. I make sure I can spell well, my grammar/punctuation is as close to perfect as I can make it, I show and not tell, I don’t allow for too many info dumps, I make characters as interesting as I can, I work at what I do. It is not a measurement of my ability, per se.
So, how do I measure my writing ability? If I like it, then the writing works. I don’t compare, I don’t worry about winning things, I just write. Measuring your ability can lead to arrogance or depression. I just accept that I am writing and that I will keep on improving if I keep on working at it. We can all improve. One day I reckon I’ll even be a good writer. Maybe. We’ll see.
Best of luck to you in all your writing endeavors.
From DevilsBargin : Every time you pick up a pen, touch a keyboard, sketch in crayon, or craft something off technological devices I believe what ever masterpiece is about to scrawled together, will either stand the test of time or be worth reading as long as I put time and effort into my project. When I come back to check my work I have the understanding that previous me is an idiot who can't hold a candle to present me. So how do I stack up. I refuse to stack myself up against others. Instead I stack everyone else up against me. And if You impress me by making me say I would have never thought of that, that's a great idea. Then we both know you did something. In other words it comes down to belief ladies and gentlemen. If you learn to believe in yourself and your capabilities then you never need to feel inferior or compare yourself to another.
From TJ likes Cadbury eggs & Peeps : I measure how good the story or poem is by how much readers enjoy it. I measure how well it's written by the comments left in reviews pointing out mistakes and errors.
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