1. PastelParfait
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    PastelParfait New Member

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    Hello! I'm new and a little nervous

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by PastelParfait, Feb 23, 2014.

    My name is Becca. I'm 20 years old and a sophomore in college. I've been writing stories since I first learned how to write, and it's been my goal since middle school to become a published writer someday. I've done a lot of writing, reading, and growing since then; but I've been feeling for quite some time now that I'm missing something fundamental: interaction with a writing community. I grew up in a small town and attended a private high school with virtually no clubs, so I've never really had any "writer friends" or anything of the sort.

    I feel I've been a little too spoiled in school because I've rarely received anything but compliments on my work simply because I exerted more passion and energy into my work than my classmates. I thought this would change in college, but to my surprise, it is almost exactly the same. This has irritated me for a long time because while it is very flattering, I know my work is far from perfect and I would really like to receive criticism so I can grow as a writer! It doesn't help that I'm extremely shy and reserved, so talking to professors or even friends about my stories and ideas is very difficult for me.

    For some reason, it hasn't occurred to me until now to join an online community. Probably because I was scared. But I was really drawn to this site after seeing how friendly and welcoming everyone is, and by the sheer amount of content here : ) This is my first time ever joining a forum like this, so I admit I'm a little lost. I really hope to make some friends here and learn some things along the way! I really look forward to getting to know you all!
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Hi, welcome to the forum. Nothing to be afraid of here, as long as you steer clear of the debate room. ;)
     
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  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Hi, @PastelParfait, and welcome to the forum! Please read the rules, participate, and have fun!

    As @GingerCoffee says, if you're shy, stay out of the Debate Room - it's the pits of humanity. (Just kidding ;) , but things are a bit rougher there than they are in the other, more civilized, more writing-oriented areas of the forum.)

    This is a great place for writers to hang out and share experiences, thoughts, ideas, techniques, truths, falsehoods, ups, downs, beer, coffee, Ramen noodles, and everything else. Enjoy! :)
     
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  4. Mans
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    Mans Contributing Member

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    As I see, your writing is good. Your descriptions about matters and events is good. Also I think you yourself are nice as well and I am interested to meet you sometimes. I am not an expert, I even have some problems in English but my confidence is very high. Despite all the problems, I hang on, because I know I will advance more and more.
     
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  5. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    Consider the possibility that you received the compliments on your work in school because you deserved them, whatever the reason. It sounds to me that you're well on your way to your goal of being a professional writer, and you've come to one of the right places online to help you get better. Spend some time here and take advantage of all the features this forum has to offer.

    As for the Debate Room, stay out of there if you're really easily offended, but I have to say that I frequent online forums whose mildest areas make the Debate Room here seem like a mutual-admiration society.
     
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  6. Lae
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    Lae Contributing Member Contributor

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    put your stuff out there, don't let people's compliments go to your head and their criticism go your heart. You'll be fine.
     
  7. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    The best thing you can get is honest and effective criticism. No writer will go very far if they are too precious, but they also won't go far if they try to change everything anyone doesn't like.
     
  8. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    @PastelParfait Welcome to your exciting adventure on the Writing Forums Express! We're so glad to have you here.

    You know, I'm 20 year old an in college also. When I graduated high school I was feeling very similar to the way you've described yourself in your introduction. I was among the top writers in my school and the only one seriously trying to attempt fiction. I continually received high praise primarily for the passion and effort I poured into all of my work (that's not to say people weren't actually impressed with my writing). I felt fairly confident, but also a bit spoiled. Who, with any writing experience under their belt, had ever given me honest reviews or critiques of my work?

    I started studying online to learn more about fiction writing, sometime in my senior year, and by the time I graduated, I realized I was missing something: interaction. I began searching online and found this forum. Believe me, you've certainly come to the right place if you're serious about interacting with writers from all kinds of backgrounds. We have published authors, writing mentors, new writers old writers, and people from different places on the planet. It's really great here.

    You'll be glad to know you will definitely get some strong critique if you post your work. You'll also find a lot of work to critique and various threads to read that will fill your head with all sorts of info about writing. The people here are very friendly, just keep in mind that some things may appear frank or direct, but it is meant with the best of intent. As stated above, avoid the debate room unless you're strongly opinionated and can stomach a little mud slingin' (okay, maybe not).

    Anyway, feel free to browse the forums, make some friends, get involved, and--most importantly--enjoy your adventure on the Writing Forums Express! We'll help you reach your destination as long as you do your share of the work ha ha.
     
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  9. PastelParfait
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    PastelParfait New Member

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    After being without computer access for about a week (my laptop broke down at the most inconvenient time), it's really lovely to come back to so many nice greetings and encouraging words! Thank you all so much!

    According to consensus, I should steer clear of the debate room - which, to be honest, piques my interest a little. But I'll stay a quiet observer of the heated arguments for now - though maybe someday I'll feel comfortable enough to be involved. :)

    It's really reassuring to find someone who started off like myself here @Andrae Smith. Truthfully I wish I had sought out this community sooner; I feel very backlogged on my personal goals and with my writing as a whole. But better late than never, right? I'm excited to see the kind of work other writers have produced and eventually post my own!
     
  10. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    Computers these days... :rolleyes: For all of their power and advancements, they still break down and cause us all the frustration we need in life. That is, unless you buy Apple products. Their stuff works like magic.

    Well It's certainly a fun place to be if you, like me, spend more time watching than getting involved. Grab some popcorn and get comfortable. Oh and don't forget your thinking cap. While things tend to heat up, you are almost sure to learn something, especially if you're a neutral party. Just the conflict of perspectives can be very engaging, and the supports people draw up for their arguments is really fascinating. I go there more to learn a thing or two from people with far more life experience than to spread my own brand of knowledge. (That's not to say I don't drop some lines. In fact I can be very long-winded, but it's usually to raise a few new questions.)

    And don't worry, when you're young like we are, it's pretty easy to get backlogged with your writing. I don't write everyday like I said I would. Heck I don't even write every week... there's just too much to do. With so much to learn about in college and about functioning in the world, trying to learn fiction writing is a slow process. I feel like the older members here have that advantage. Most of them have earned their free time.

    But hey, it's aaaall guuuud. :cool: everyone's got to stat somewhere.
     
  11. PastelParfait
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    PastelParfait New Member

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    It's actually really funny you should say that because I just ordered a macbook after this most recent breakdown. It's been happening so much and I've intended to switch to Mac for a long time anyway that I thought it was about time, haha. The only problem with Apple products is how ridiculously expensive they are...

    Oh, yes, there's always a thing or two to learn from a heated debate! Both to understand new perspectives, and simply to observe how people operate in a debate. Debating is a skill all it's own, one I've yet to perfect.

    You're absolutely right, though. Time is almost non-existent in college. Between classes and two jobs it's all I can do to just keep up with assignments most of the time. But I've always held the philosophy that no matter how busy I get, I should always make at least a little time each week to set aside for writing. Buuuuut that definitely doesn't happen as much as it should. At least now I have the added benefit of feeling a little better about myself since I'm procrastinating on a writing forum! :p
     
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  12. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    Hey I'll admit, I do a fair amount of critical thinking and writing here. This place sucks away writing time ha ha! If anything though. Learning to express myself clearly here has really helped my thinking process for essays. I realize I almost communicate in essays here. I have this strange compulsion to write "intro" paragraphs with some sort of thesis and conclusions that some it all up. Everything in between is a progression through my mental exploration of ideas.

    Huh, in some sense, I can give credit to this forum for the A I just earned on my poetry essay ha ha! :p
     
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