Wednesday, March 27, 2013
What I like about these groups is the variety of people who contribute. Usually, a question leads to a response arc where many different people contribute feedback. Some comments are helpful, others less so, as you would expect when six people try to create a horse and end up with a camel.
I've previewed short tidbits of one or more of my works with great feedback for improvement. I've announced the availability of my first published novel, Mad Max Unintended Consequences. I've received wonderful reviews as a result of those postings, both in public and through private messages. I've been contacted by people from my past, some of whom I'd lost touch with. This is the good kind of group. Not that it let me promote my book, because I received feedback for my efforts and encouraged me to promote other people's books.
I joined one group where the group leader informed everyone in the very first post that promoting your personal works was not allowed. The second post was from a writer who was promoting her works. Comments ranged all over the place and included several from the group organizer. What is a new member to think? If the group organizer likes you, you can promote to your heart's content? Or that you have to be a member long enough to be worthy of self-promotion? Do you have to comment daily to be considered worthy? I am so confused.
Some groups are lead by a veritable tsar. You will do everything my way. You will follow the rules or we won't let you stay. You will like and share all our posts even when you would never do so on your own. I mean, come on. I don't read heaving-bosom romances, yet fully 50% of the FB posts are to such works. I have my standards, after all. I can't promote something I don't read. Maybe I'm too snobbish for that group. I'm so confused.
Some members of groups cannot post a coherent message. Poor English. Lousy grammar. Worse spelling. I don't mind if I'm reading text- or tweet-speak, but when a post pretends to be written by a literate person, I expect not to have to decipher what it means. Again, I'm probably too snobbish for that group. I'm so confused.
I love to learn from different writers and readers. I posted a question in a new group on Facebook. I got back no fewer than 75 responses, all but three of which had nothing to do with my original question. I was serious, but I was attacked by those who were ever so much cleverer than I was. I was even more confused.
You might see yourself in this blog post. If you don't, count yourself among those who want to help writers without stifling their creativity and hopes. And who don't confuse me.
Can't we all just get along and stop playing one upsmanship?