End of An Era and Learning
I am no longer a Site Host on the marvellous writers’ site WriteWords. Stepping down from the role is something I’ve been thinking about, off and on, for a while, and this latest illness kind of made my mind up for me. The truth is that although I loved the job, loved helping people and all that it entailed, what I really needed (and need) to do was concentrate on my writing and workshops and on getting better.
So, I want to say a big Thank You to David, Anna, Richard and the rest of the team – I really appreciated the opportunity and loved doing what I did as a Host. Of course there were frustrating times, times when I think I got more flak than I deserved etc, but that’s par for the course. On the whole, I am thoroughly glad I did what I did.
Which brings me onto writing websites in general (in part because there’s been a discussion on their worth earlier today).
They, as long as they have good members, are, in my opinion, a wholly Good Thing. They allow writers of different genres and at different stages in their careers the chance to meet, albeit virtually. They allow writers to talk to people (let’s not forget what a lonely job it can be). They are a place where advice can be sought and given. They are a place where work can be workshopped, a place where writers, at any level, can learn. I think that’s the most important one; I don’t think writers ever, ever, ever stop learning.
Now, there are negative sides to sites like this, I ‘ll not pretend there aren’t. There are arguments and discussions and disagreements. Sometimes they’re not particularly civil. A few times they’ve been downright nasty. (Once, a member who, while in one particular discussion with me, decided to try to prove his point by criticising the way I looked. Well, what a well thought out writing related point that was! I notice he’s recently rejoined as well. I’ve not forgotten, T.) There were others as well, but I’ll not go into them here. My point is that in pretty much every case, issues were resolved and people agreed to disagree. And most of the time, I learned something from it. I’m sure others did too.
Actually, while I’m rambling on about this, I’ll mention the most frustrating thing I’ve encountered on writing sites. It’s this: people asking (sometimes begging) for your help – sometimes on a writing related issue, sometimes on actual work – getting it (something which can take the helper quite a bit of time) and then not bothering to acknowledge it, or say thanks. Oh yes, that’s annoying. And rude.
But enough of the negative – mostly writing sites, and WriteWords in particular, are a hoot. WriteWords is, in my opinion, the best writing site out there. It’s fantastic. Utterly. And helpful. I’ve made a lot of friends there and learned so much in the few years I’ve been a member. And there it is again, that learning thing.
So, writers or wannabe writers, I’d suggest you had a look.
And in other news, I’m back on the antibiotics for another week. Hmph. Blah. Hobble.