I’m trying to sort out all the OS rumors flying around and have read some pretty harsh statements about this website. Since I’m not a computer geek, I have a difficult time crying about spam. When it shows up on one of my rare (as of late) posts, I just delete them. I can’t make spam go away, so I don’t worry about it. I’m losing a lot of hair lately, and can do nothing about that either. There’s spam. There’s baldness. Life goes on.
Technical difficulties aside, the most troubling criticisms come from those feel that many of us don’t make the cut. I say troubling, not so much because my itsy-bitsy little feelings are hurt. Troubling because there are those among us who wish for the apple to be an orange. It will never be an orange and how frustrating that must be for them. How sad.
From the traveler: “The writers break down into different groups, some small percentage of people who write pretty well and who, if they could get a paying job writing or find a better environment, would probably skip in a moment. There is a very large group of people who write passably enough for other passable writers to enjoy them but not enough to really draw any fan base.
I agree with this assessment. OS is a very diverse writing group. I think this is a good thing. In the few months I have been here I have laughed hysterically and quite literally wept. I would argue against the “skip in a moment” part. Among her many other credits, Caitlin Kelly has written a couple of books like “Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail” She uses OS to promote her work. When she’s not doing that, she’s honing her craft with social commentary. She has also posted several “How To” articles for wanna-be’s like me. Thank you Caitlin. Is this a BAD thing?
There is another revolving group of people who write really terribly but who either write until they get bored because no one reads them and drop out or who write the agony Annie kinds of columns that draw the readers who want to give emotional support to a wounded soul.”
I like “agony Annie.” I have a very ill daughter who causes herself and her family a kind of agony only another agonized person can appreciate. There is a therapeutic value to sharing both the good and the bad. Special thanks to Susam Creamer Joy and rjheart for helping my wounded soul. If somebody has ripped your heart out of your chest and thrown it on the ground and stomped on it, write about it, because it’s happened to me and I want to read it. Is this a BAD thing?
Yes, there is terrible non-sensical writing. In the opinions of some, perhaps mine qualifies. If you feel that way, let me know. I’d like to learn from you.That’s why I’m here. And the therapy too.
Make me laugh. Make me cry. Make me think. Rip my heart out. Rip your heart out. Just write for crying out loud!
Dear the traveler: Please don’t be offended. I chose your post because it reflects the views of many others here. It’s nothing personal.
Most importantly for me, I have learned a lot about the craft of writing. I posted a piece of fiction and asked for criticism. I got what I asked for in spades. It was not all warm fuzzy hugs, which is decidedly NOT what I was after. I wanted the truth, warts and all. I filed them all in my “Writing Class” folder along with a bazillion other cut-and-pastes I’ve plucked from OS. (ALWAYS careful to include author credits, thank you very much.) From that post I got offers from two very accomplished OS writers to edit my work for me. I would include their names here but don’t feel that is my prerogative. You know who you are and thanks for your kindness.
How can you ignore this from Xenonlit XL:
“I've sold articles and have become a legitimate freelance writer. I have also been liberally plagiarized, too. My SEO is good to go. My novel was actually dusted off and set to its final redraft. I am a writer. ” (boldface mine)
“But Open Salon is a bit ahead when it comes to the benefits that this place has offered to a rough writer who became a bona fide and published freelancer, defender against spam, and Pirate Wimmin.”
I really dig a Pirate Wimmin. Fun is good. If I want stuffy, I’ll go to the New Yorker website. Check out Xenon’s two year anniversary celebration blog:
Dear Kerry Lauerman:
Thank you. Open Salon is my Swiss Army Knife for the brain. If I want to learn, I can learn here. If I want to clown around, I can do that too. If I want to post the Great American Novel, well, I don’t think you’ll mind, will you? I need to get to work on that don’t I? Open Salon is anything I want it to be and that’s where it’s beauty lies. Please don’t let it fail. I’ll name my next kid after you.