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wine on the keyboard

Newbies Need love too

by Kay~Kacey on 4/28/2005

The online romance community. Writers. Readers. What’s up with people ranting about newbies while proudly proclaiming their 10 or 15 or whatever years online? Yes, there are those of us lucky enough to have found the romance writers community back in the days of GENie or Prodigy or AOL. But there are tons of writers who are new to writing romance. New to the online community. We were all new once. That seems so hard for some people to remember.

Writers new to online do stuff like send the whole digest back when they ask a question on a loop. They wonder about fonts and margins and word count.

There is a wealth of information out there now. And I, for one, am very glad it’s there. It helps keep me from feeling so isolated. You no longer need to search for local romance writers and lament if you live in a small town. Boot up your computer and instant writer buddies. And, even better, log off when you want to be left alone. How cool is that? Critique partners can be all the way across the country. You can email a file instead of mail off pages.

But for all the people who grow weary of the questions new writers ask, just remember the people who helped you when you started out. You wondered how to format a manuscript…and maybe even felt angst over which font to use. 🙂 Remember that you wondered what people wore to RWA national too. You tried to figure out the lines. You tried to figure out the rules…if only to know when or why you would break them.

So maybe the next time you see someone ask a question on a loop, or blog or forum …instead of blasting off a flippant “use google” or “use the search function” maybe you could kindly help them out and answer their questions. I mean, karma alone should be enough to motivate you 😉

Maybe a new perspective of appreciating all that’s out there online now, and take what you want from it. Leave what you don’t. It’s a simple concept. We’re lucky to have so much information at our fingertips these days. And I, for one, am very glad all that information is out there ready for me when I need it.

And if you’re a new writer with a question that you’ve been afraid to ask…ask away.

Jill April 28, 2005 at 8:34 am

I don’t have a question, just wanted to say I thought this was a nice post. 🙂

Tori April 28, 2005 at 9:13 am

Great post, Kacey!

How do I look in my new persona? :cool2:

(the writer formerly known as Vicki)

Mary April 28, 2005 at 11:23 am

Your post is so true.

Suzanne April 28, 2005 at 11:45 am

You mean you’re not supposed to send back the whole digest? 😯

Rene April 28, 2005 at 1:55 pm

The online community can be so difficult to navigate. The safety net of anonyminity (is that a word? If it is, did I butcher it?) seems to give people the idea they have the right to disregard all polite rules of society and lambast others. While I’m not published, I’m not a novice either. I try to help where I can. We were all newbies once, it is only fair to share the information so kindly given to us as we started out.

Michelle April 28, 2005 at 8:05 pm

Great post, Kacey. I feel like I’m in a state of limbo. I don’t feel comfortable teaching writing skills, but at the same time, I’m not a newbie anymore. But that’s okay. When I do know something, I’m always happy to share! :twocents:

Sharon April 29, 2005 at 10:13 am

I whole heartedly agree with your sentiment. Someone new joins the online community every day. My BIGGEST complaint is when online chapters of the RWA pull this attitude. Hello? That newbie member is paying for the right to ask her “dumb” question. What makes your 15 bucks more special than hers? Oops sorry lol. Got off on a tangent.

I mean how frigging hard is it to hit the delete button? :cursing:

Larissa April 29, 2005 at 10:44 am

Heh–I have to admit, I get tired of the same old, same old, but I don’t get snippy because there ARE new people who need to know basic stuff. I know there are STILL dumb questions I ask. I just can’t stand when people as something like “should I use one space or two after a period,” and people actually ARGUE about it. Geez–it doesn’t matter! :rofl:

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