1. Artist369
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    Artist369 Active Member

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    Your overall experience on this website- helpful or not?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Artist369, Aug 7, 2014.

    So like all of you, I joined this forum looking for writing help, hoping to supplement my learning journey with instant feedback. In addition to joining, I've been reading as many articles on writing as I can find, I've started the process of checking out applicable books from the library, and I am hoping to sign up for a few online courses.

    Now I want to know, what has your experience with this website been so far? Has this website lead to better writing? Have you been published thanks to information you gleaned from the members here? What has been the best advice you've received thus far? And has it been an overall positive experience for you or not?
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd say that it's an overall positive experience, and overall helpful with my writing. If I want to increase both scores, I keep out of the Lounge and especially the Debate section. :) I enjoy them both, but they're not good for me.
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    My experience has been great. Probably the most important things I've learned came from threads in the Publishing subforum. Other than that, we've had some good conversations here about various writing topics (everything from style to what makes art good). I've definitely become a better writer, but that's due to a combination of things: participating here, reading more, writing essays for school, and creative writing in my spare time. I did have some poems published at one point (it was so long ago that the magazine has since shut down; in fact, I can't even remember the magazine's name :oops:), but that was during my early years here, and it wasn't a result of what I learned here (that's not to say that this forum wasn't helpful; I just didn't participate much back then).

    As an aside, some may say my writing has changed for the worse. Just look at all those semicolons and parentheses I used! :p
     
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  4. Artist369
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    Artist369 Active Member

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    Don't I know it?! I've learned my lesson from past experiences in that regard. That being said, the one area where I need help the most- the workshop, has proved the most negative. People don't seem to like being told there is room for improvement. Ironic, when you consider they post there asking for help. I also got dinged for not responding quick enough to one person. I hope it gets better from here on out.
     
  5. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I love it here. :p I get stuck in development a lot, and I know I can always depend on the people here to steer me in the right direction. Plus, I love the reviews section. I got a lot of good pointers for my short story.

    Also, I like the Lounge and Debates room. I don't have many friends, so it's fun for me to have conversations with a diverse group of people. :p
     
  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    You have to learn to ignore such people. Besides, critiquing benefits you, the one giving the critique, as well. The hope is that you can apply your critiquing skills to your own writing and thus become a better writer.
     
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  7. Artist369
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    Artist369 Active Member

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    Definitely. I also like reading the crits people give each other. They do help.
     
  8. Artist369
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    Artist369 Active Member

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    Yeah, I used to spend all of my free time on news websites, trying to talk sense into people in the comments section. I eventually had to delete every account I had out there to keep myself from wasting my time. XD I still look at the comment sections on hot-bed topics, I just can't reply now.
     
  9. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    I would not exactly say helpful in the sense that the thread is wondering, since I did not come for help. Nevertheless, I did learned many things and had fun nonetheless, so it has been a positive experience indeed.
     
  10. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I've learned quite a bit, made friends and a few not so much (because I can be a feather ruffler ;)).

    There are some very talented people on this forum sharing their skills and resources.
     
  11. Russo
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    Russo Member

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    Haven't got much out of it yet, but that doesn't mean I won't.
     
  12. Lae
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    Lae Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nice to read stuff people write, share something of your own and get opinions on it. I still lack proper "writing skills" but hopefully I've improved. Helps in other areas too. Another benefit for me was getting the ideas out of the lump of grey matter.

    Plus here, you get to see a chicken head talk to a squirrel in a hat, who in turn has verbal jousting matches with a white wolf
     
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  13. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    Definitely, although I found it more helpful back when I used to do critiques - I really should get back into that. I like that any writing question I have has almost always been discussed already, so I just have to delve into the archives to find some good discussions.

    I always lurk more than I post, but there have been long periods when I've kept away from the site altogether due to individuals - there is a certain brand of 'pompous git' troll that seems to be attracted to this place and I'm too easily wound up to cope with it! But the kind and clever people far outweigh the divs so it is worth sticking around :)
     
  14. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    To me, the most beneficial aspect of this site are the people. I've gotten to know plenty of great and very knowledgeable and skilled folks and some I could even call friends. The most helpful things I've gotten from beta-readers, so I'm definitely glad I found this place (especially after first checking out a couple of other writing forums, one big, one small, and I didn't really feel comfortable in either). Thanks to the betas and their honest, non-sugarcoated feedback, my writing has improved more during my time here than during the years before finding this place.

    That's not to say I haven't benefitted from the conversations here because I have. There are a lot of folks here who are professionals or otherwise very well-versed in things related to writing and the publishing industry as well as non-writing -related areas (e.g. medicine, military matters, medieval combat etc), and I've pestered them a lot when my own, very limited knowhow and my google-fu have failed me and, I'm glad to say, they've always come through for me.
    At the same time I try to share what little knowledge I have, be it about writing or some other activity in which I have some experience. That way I try to give something back to the community even though what I've gotten far outweighs what I've given.

    I also view conversations and arguments as chances to keep up my technical writing chops (as an EFL speaker, I try to write as perfectly as I can unless I'm in a hurry, like now :p), to have fun, and, of course, to pick up the occasional nuggets of wisdom I stumble into, be they about writing, life in general, or something else.

    In a way, the forum is a learning tool among others. Why not use it?
     
  15. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I've been here a long time, and I've stayed. 'nuff said I think.
     
  16. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I really like this site. It's nice to know there are others who are doing things similar to what I do. I have learned a few things, and it's always helpful to read and critique or just see what others have said in response to a certain piece. There are also helpful book recommendations and sometimes just ruminating on an issue is helpful. I really love my live in person critique group, and sometimes something I've read here gives me fodder for discussion there, and vice versa.

    Seriously -- someone got mad at you for not responding quickly enough? That person is a jackass. Ignore him or her. Unfortunately, they show up here from time to time. Most folks here, though, are very friendly and eager to help.

    Yes -- I agree.
     
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  17. Mike Hill
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    Mike Hill Natural born citizen of republic of Finland.

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    It has helped a lot, and will continue to help.
     
  18. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Lots of questions you have there :) For me, the experience here's been mostly positive. As in any community, you get people you like and those you don't, the mods here are excellent and they do what they can to keep this place civil. I think this is hands down the best writer's forum out there, and while not perfect, it has everything you want in a forum, I think.

    Has it led to better writing? I think the only thing that's improved my writing is my own practice and research, learning and perseverance. But the forum definitely helped, through advice and examples. Just being on the forum won't magically improve your writing, nor will it get you published. Some people are focused on getting the foot in the door with whatever they have, others set the bar very high for themselves, and work for a while on perfecting the manuscript. I believe that with a good enough manuscript, all you need is a list of agents, patience and perseverance, no special tips will help to get you published, good enough story is all you need.

    Single best piece of advice? To get off the forum if I want to improve my writing productivity. So now I come mainly when I need a bit of a break and some giggles :)
     
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  19. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    The people are good here, the people make me want to come back. There are many people here I want to have a drink with, and some of them even know it.
     
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  20. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Agreed on all fronts. Anyone who gets pissy if a critter doesn't respond quickly enough truly is an ungrateful jackass and not worth the crit. Most people here, however, are very thankful for any and all feedback, so it's best to drop the ungratefuls when you smell trouble and focus your efforts on those who would really appreciate them (i.e. most members).
    Writing is a skill, critiquing is a skill, but receiving critique is also a skill unto itself. Those who lack it, usually don't last here very long; we get the occasional "troublesome" individuals, just like all forums, but for the most part, they aren't many... thank heavens.
     
  21. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I've learned quite a bit in terms of writing, and I've received research help as well, which is awesome. Like @T.Trian said, we've also found betareaders from here, so that's also great. As a mod, I just want to be there to maintain this forum so that it'll continue benefitting old and new members in the future as well.

    The best thing is that thanks to this place, T and I aren't writing in a vacuum, oblivious to what is going on in the publishing world, what things should be taken into account if you want to write effectively etc. It's not just about telling a story; there's the technical aspect to writing an effective composition, be it a short or a novel, and CW has been of tremendous help in understanding the importance of writing as a craft to be learned and mastered.

    Do you have any suggestions how the staff could help with this?

    One big reason for people to join a forum like this is to get feedback on their writing. Some do it in hopes of positive reinforcement, and when reality kicks them in the face, they throw a hissy. Some come around and realize this, some fade into obscurity and are never heard of again (well, good riddance). It's usually best to ignore users like that, but there's no harm in reporting the post(s), either.
     
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  22. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I've been here a bit over seven years. If it weren't helpful, I wouldn't be here.

    Advice, on its own, isn't very useful. It's the discussion, the insight into what is behind an opinion, that gives it value.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
  23. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    There are a wide variety of people on this forum, with one common interest ...writing. It would be very hard to come up with such a collection in 'real life.' It's great to see all the variety, not only of the writing itself, but the attitude towards it. I've become very fond of this forum and would miss it a lot if it didn't exist. The mods are vigilant, but fair, and keep it from being overrun with trolls. Can't ask for more, really.
     
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  24. Artist369
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    Artist369 Active Member

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    That is excellent advice Jazzabel! I've definitely noticed that I my productivity goes down whenever I spend too much time lurking about online. It's a reminder to write first and lurk later. XD Priorities.

    If you have any links to pertinent posts that I can read from your own experiences, I'd love to look at them. I am so eager to soak in everyone's expertise.

    I don't think there's anything that sticks out in my mind that you could do that you don't already do. People are all different, and they are going to react on every level of the spectrum. Like Jannert said, you guys seem to be vigilant and fair.
     
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  25. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Too true! That's the downside...
     

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