Is it ethical to use my own website to complain about people who might be readers? I say “Yes, as long as it’s constructive.” I also think I might have just quoted myself in real-time for the first time ever. Do people do that? I guess I do. So here’s the thing:
Stop Wasting Your Time in the Message Boards
Seriously, are you a writer for money or are you a writer to be social? I just don’t get it. I’m currently writing for 3 different content providers and every single one of them seems to have a very active writer’s message board population. On one hand, it’s fine with me because then there’s more work for me. On the other hand, I want to remind them that the message boards won’t increase their income and won’t improve their writing skills.
Part of me sees that maybe some people need to feel some kind of social connection to their coworkers. Except that we’re paid by the word, by the article or by the job and none of those things includes the posts we make and comment on in the message boards. Plus, we’re freelancers so we’re not technically coworkers. It really IS a competition and you’re all hopelessly distracted.
Maybe I’m socially retarded in that I just don’t feel the need to congratulate someone for continuing to work, answer trivia questions, share a picture of my workspace, post my favorite coffee recipe, share my favorite writing sites, discuss the oxford comma ad nauseum, complain about people who don’t understand the hardships of working from home, make fun of myself for procrastinating or wax nostalgic about the old days of SEO keyword stuffing just to prove I’m not a noob.
So do yourself a favor, please. Constantly ask yourself if you’re being productive. Maybe you actually do this work in order to be social with other “writers” in which case; disregard my commentary, please. But if you’re suffering from this social plague, keep track of how much time you spend sharing anecdotes in the message boards. It’s no more productive than scrolling through the endless Facebook feed. And most importantly, before you click “send” on that comment or posting, ask yourself “Will this help my fellow writers be productive.” Just once, I’d like to log in and see that little red bubble of new community posts say 3- because that’s how often the admin updates the site news each day.
End of rant. Good day to all of you. Write on…