This week: When's It Time To Run Your Own Activity? Edited by: Jeff
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"You never know what you can do until you try,
and very few try unless they have to."
-- C.S. Lewis
About The Editor: Greetings! My name is Jeff and I'm one of your regular editors for the Noticing Newbies Official Newsletter! I've been a member of Writing.com since 2003, and have edited more than 350 newsletters across the site during that time. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me via email or the handy feedback field at the bottom of this newsletter!
When's It Time To Run Your Own Activity?
For most active and engaged members of Writing.com, the question of running a contest or organizing an activity of your own isn't a matter of "if" so much as "when." It's a natural function of the fact that writers are creators. Building things from the ground up is part of the job description.
The best advice I have about deciding when it's time to step up and run something yourself is this: when there's a contest/activity that the site doesn't have and you wish it did.
There are a lot of different contests and activities on the site. In its heyday, you could find a half a dozen contests on each major genre and could pick and choose which ones you wanted to enter based on the prizes, deadlines, prompt, etc. The site isn't as busy as it was back in those days, which means that it can sometimes be difficult to find the exact kind of activity you want to participate in. There are entire genres and types of writing that don't have an active challenge running right now.
But that also creates an immense opportunity for you to fill that void with an activity or contest of your own design. Lamenting the lack of options among science fiction contests? Run one that has the structure that interests you! Wondering why nobody has a challenge in the western genre? You could be the first? Missing a long-defunct activity from years past that doesn't seem to show signs of coming back anytime soon? Run something similar yourself!
Some might point out that you can't (or at least shouldn't) win your own contests, but there's nothing stopping you from writing something that isn't eligible for prizes, just for the experience. If you come up with a challenge that excites you, why not write an entry that you just note isn't eligible for prizes? I do this (or at least attempt this ) every year with "Musicology Anthology" . It's a fun challenge that iKïyå§ama used to run and I missed seeing it on the site, so I volunteered to run it. I'm no longer eligible for prizes since I judge it every year, but I still try to come up with an entry myself.
Some might say that they're only on the site to write, or that they're not good at running activities, or that they don't have the time. Those are all fair statements, but if you really think the site is lacking something, is it better to lament (or worse, complain out loud) about the things this site doesn't have, or it is better to put that energy to productive use and create something you can offer everyone else in the community?
Two of the most amazing things about this community are the sheer number of options we have for what we can create, and the ingenuity of our members. We can do so much more than just independently write static items? We have the freedom to create our own activities without running them through an approval process of some kind. If a member of this community wants to create something, they just can. With such a perfect dynamic between the freedom to create and the tools to create with, there's very little reason why concerns about the site lacking something can't be remedied with a little hard work and investment by members of the community.
When is it time to run an activity of your own?
ANSWER: When no one else is willing to do it.
The next time you're wondering why Writing.com doesn't have that one activity or contest that you really want to see, it might be worth asking yourself if it's time to step up and create it for yourself and offer it up to the community so they can see what they've been missing.
Until next time,
If you're interested in checking out my work:
"New & Noteworthy Things" | "The Book of Jeff"
This month's official Writing.com writing contest is:
I also encourage you to check out the following items:
EXCERPT: What does James 4:3 mean?
EXCERPT: White light filled my vision, as I came into consciousness. Everything was white, no matter where I looked. Then, I realized, that I moved. I lifted my hand - I have a hand! I think... -, but it too was white. I looked down, and I saw a featureless, white body. Even as I touched my stomach, it was hard to make it out. I called out.
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Feedback from "Noticing Newbies Newsletter (August 24, 2022)" about what Moderators on Writing.com do:
Great NL, Jeff! So helpful. I'm sure anyone who reads it will appreciate it greatly.
Really appreciated this review of who does what. Thank you!
Well said, Jeff. Thanks for high-lighting our position onsite.
I may have to take some slight exception with your statement--"That's why there are a lot of us." With more than 90,000 author/members and fewer than 100 Mods and Sr. Mods, sometimes it doesn't feel like there are a lot of us. That said, I believe we hold our own, and I'm proud to be part of such a great site.
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