Tuesday, November 03, 2015

I got bounced from a Facebook group for sharing good news!

I joined a author group on facebook over two years ago. I put my novel on free for one day and it hit #1 in US horror and #13 in NA and shared the news with the group. I've seen similar posts on there before and it was always welcomed.
Then I received an e-mail from the moderator
" Can you please reread the guidelines. Technically your post isn't allowed unless you hit the NYT and/or USA Today guidelines. I'm on vacation and waiting to see if the other admin decide to delete it. But if they delete it (verses you doing it), you'll end up on our warning list."
I tried to review them again, not remembering anything of the sort, but alas could not figure out how to do it on my phone. Plus I thought 'wow what a way to be supportive' it was worth getting placed on a warning list for, especially since I felt really slammed to the floor because of the remark.
Today I noticed I was no longer part of the group.
Maybe this email is a rant, I don't mean for it to be, but I'm wondering if this is something you've come across before. Up until now I was blissfully thinking the writers community was the most supportive bunch of people I've ever met.


If you want support, buy a truss.
No, really.

Membership groups can be as fiercely parochial as any kind of self-selecting group, writers groups included. Nothing brings out the fangs more than success.

I belong to a lovely group called DorothyL. It's a listserve started more than 20 years ago, and the purpose is to discuss mysteries. The members are mostly librarians, mystery readers and the occassional ne'er do well agent.

There is a list as long as my nose of Forbidden Topics, because even this civilized, genteel group could not avoid coming to blows over: awards; POD; Harriet Klausner.  And let's not even get started on blatant self promotion!

I know some people have flounced off the DorothyL list in a huff. It was kind of amusing to watch actually.

I'm not sure what they accomplished but maybe they felt better.

Here's the thing: all groups run on rules. The rules are enforced by the moderator. Some moderators are good at their job. Some are not.

The rules should be in a place that's easy to access, even from your phone.
You should get a warning before getting banned.

That said, it's not my group. I only make the rules here, not there.

I've seen some backbiting and downright vicioius behaviour in private groups (not on DorothyL at all ever) and heard of some other things said in author groups that shocked me to my shoes.

From the limited amount of information here, you've got two choices: ask to rejoin, or stay on the outside.

Only you can decide if the value of the group is worth asking to come back.

And now you know: any kind of "good news" announcement should be ok'd by the moderator in advance.


LynnRodz said...

I belong to a closed group of around 150 writers on Facebook. Every time there's good news like you had, OP, we rejoice. Our moderator is fantastic and he's the first to give a thumbs up. I think you need to look for a new group.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

At the risk of being flung into the abyss that is beyond Carkoon, what good is a group that only rejoices in your trials and tribulations?

Personally, I love to see another writer break through and succeed. It shows it can be done. As a rule, I try as much as I am able to surround myself with people cleverer than myself. Like here on this blog. I am blown away by the talent here, and I learn so much. The flash fiction contests alone help me really polish my skills. The other writers inspire me and I wish great things for all of them. I rejoice at their successes, and honestly, it takes the sting out of my failures so that I can dust myself off and try again. The same is true for the writing workshop I participate in.

Find a better group as Lynn suggests. Come play with us. We are a friendly sort of informal group apart from the occasional Carkoon exile and shark attack. I tell you something, when I finally land an agent, whoever it is, Janet gets a huge thank you for all she does here. And possibly a bottle of Scotch and my first born.

DLM said...

Janet - "buy" a truss, perhaps? :)

When my dad died, he had only turned 65 a few months before. It's not a short life; but not a very long one, either. My dad was the DEFINITION of "to know him is to love him" - smart, funny, warm, gruff. He was as deeply loving a human being as ever lived, and he lived every moment - really lived - even after he knew death was coming for him.

To this day, I see people who are older than he was, being bitter and selfish, not taking care of themselves, refusing to love - and, sinful as it is, I compare. Why didn't my dad deserve to live as long as this specimen?

It ain't right, but it's what we DO. Even if we don't admit it.

And I have to admit ... it is HARD for me to watch others succeed when I just had to bury the work I spent ten years of my life on. EMG's points are true: I love others' success. I love reading, and finding new authors' work.

But the knee, she jerks.

Some people are better than others at controlling the knee-jerk. For the rest, we have rules.

InkStainedWench said...

Well. Another "rule" I never knew about.

Sure, shameless spamming would be a negative on any forum. But any place I hang out, if a faithful participant were to say, "Whoopee! I'm going to be published by Bigfoot Books!", I would "Whoopee!" right back.

Now I know that if I ever have any good fortune, I'll have my legal and corporate communications departments figure out how to share it properly.

Valerie said...

i joined a writer's group on facebook for a while, but the overall trend of the group was very negative, as in they criticized each other over the tiniest things, never welcomed a different opinion, and heaven forbid the auto-correct on your phone should accidentally spell the wrong word in a post. i had to quit. i like hearing the good news, and i don't want to be picked apart over nonsense.

french sojourn said...

So much to add....however I will keep it brief.

Lynnrodz: agreed and congrats for belonging to "another" super group. * E.M. Goldsmith, I concur completely this group is 4 star.
DLM, my condolences, I also recently lost my dad, but his voyage was epic and the same destination awaits us all...write your own obituary and work backwards. I also just realized that my two W.I.P.s are trunkers. But I have another wonderful concept that I can't wait to sink my teeth into...a different genre though...ooof!

Inkstainedwench...when, not if, when you are published I will also scream WHOOPEE!

Cheers Hank

Unknown said...

Amen to what Lynn said. Life is to short to hang around discouraging people if you don't have to. Plenty of those you can't avoid already. And plenty of writing communities where you can be surrounded by wonderful and thoughtful people. Janet's swarm of nutty woodland creatures comes to mind.

Colin Smith said...

Writer's support groups? A good thing done well. My support group is my wife and this little bunch of woodland creatures. When I'm feeling like a drooling 2-month-old, unable to string three words together, let alone make a sox-knocking-off sentence, I'll look to the kind things you all and Janet have said about my writing in the past, and most especially to the nice things my wife has said. Sure, my wife's not an aspiring author, but she often has more faith in my abilities than I do, and I need that.

BTW, as I understand them, the rules for celebration here are thus: if you just got an agent, or you are able to announce a book deal, then tell us. We want to celebrate with you. I know many of us are anxious to hear good news from a number of the regulars (female bronco riders and Clovis, king of the Franks--need I say more?). Just be resepctful of the topic and all the other code of conduct stuff, like trying to keep comments to 100... words... oops... I'll shut up now. :)

Unknown said...

I used to belong to a group of writers, a small group, around fifteen years ago, and they were the best. The moderator lived in Australia, a few lived in the States, a couple more in Canada. We were a diverse group writing in various genres and it was a wonderful time. I'm still in touch with one woman, my longest and most loyal fan, and I bless the day I ever joined the group.

So why stop participating? It can be a time soak. While they helped me with my writing, I was giving feedback on theirs, and though I enjoyed it...it was time consuming.

And, loving them as I did, it was so much easier to sign on and chat with them than it was to work on my rewrites (their suggestions). I had to cut down on my visits, and before long, I stopped participating.

But when I was finally published, I told the one woman I kept in touch with and she told the group and they were THRILLED for me! Sent me all kinds of congratulations. I can't tell you how downright jubilant (and relieved) that made me feel. I'd ignored them for years and they still celebrated with me.

Those are good people, good writers, good never-even-met-them friends, and they're out there. Keep looking.

DeadSpiderEye said...

On-line communities, they display the same pattern of observable behaviour found in all social groups. You fell foul to one of the most common mechanisms for exclusion within a social context, that is: arcane repudiation. Under this label, behaviour inconsequential in most contexts, is deemed unacceptable and subject to sanction. The purpose of this mechanism is to create a distinction between the insider and the stranger. You might recognise the concept from your teen years, the period during which this mechanism is most commonly manifest.

Oh by the way, fantastic news on your success

DLM said...

Hank, thank you. Dad died in 2003, so I've learned to cope - but in those first months and maybe even a couple of years after, I "compared" all the time. "Why him and not my dad? Why her, why didn't dad deserve to live as long as her?"

I will HUZZAH along with everyone else when each of us gets published - and mean it! - but on the days I contemplate just going on with life unpublished and not trying to be (frequent days, of late) I can't pretend not to have my weaknesses. Writers are often solitary woodland creatures, and we all know how easy it is to go down the solitary woodland creature hole and wrap up, all alone, in our insecurities. We look out from our little shadows and see great things afoot and feel left out or sad or inadequate, and retreat just a little more. And sometimes, we forget our manners.

Nobody here does that, of course. But it happens, and I think that's what the rule above is out to address. I've certainly been on fora where authors blow in, barf up some self-promotion, and never appear again unless they find something more to barf up. We see this sort of shameless non-content on Twitter CONSTANTLY. So the need to police that may have other venues overly protective regarding content. I cannot judge the situation in today's post, because community culture is subjective and I don't know what got said.

It's all too easy for posts to (a) get really personal and selfish (see also "wah, my daddy died and other people didn't") and (b) lose the emotional thrust in translation to text. What in our head sounds like joy and excitement may look to someone else's eyes like bluster and bragging.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Opie: I don't have much more to say beyond what others have said. Life is too short. Writing is our passion. The ability to string our words together so that our story excites other people IS cause for celebration. These here Reiders are a good group to hang around with.

DLM and Hank: Having lost a teen-aged brother to cancer (30+ years ago now) I think many people who have that joie de vivre live so well because they realize life is so wild and precious. Having said that though, it's still not easy to accept death and the unfairness of life. But, Hank, I like your take. Write your life backwards

nightsmusic said...

I have been reading this blog forever. I finally stepped in a few months ago and even that was hard for me to do, but the people here have been so encouraging to each other, it seemed like a great place to hang out. In my enthusiasm when I first started writing, I jumped in and joined a group I thought would be encouraging too, would help me when I had questions and just be a general, all around, writerly group to belong to. WRONG! They were back-biting, critical, knocked down anything I asked an opinion on, argumentative and it was such a depressing spot, I almost gave up writing because I didn't want to belong to any group that was that horrid.

There are a lot of wonderful, supportive groups out there. Hang on the outside for awhile and get a feel for them before you join. You'll be much happier in the long run. In the meantime, walk away from this one. They weren't the droids you were looking for...

french sojourn said...

One of sharks authors was quoted as saying," we write to define ourselves" ( I am so paraphrasing, and also wish I could remember which one said it.). I imagine that would be a moving target as we all hopefully evolve. You make a great point on how we can be mis-perceived by what we write. Just keep writing and evolving.

Steve Forti said...

Who was it that said "I wouldn't want to belong to a group that would have me as a member?" In seriousness, though, I can't understand why people wouldn't be supportive of others like this. Some people are just petty and bitter. As frustrating as it would be, I'd find another group.

In my local writers' group, one of our members just had her first novel published, and that was cause for celebration, and positive motivation for the rest of us to step up our game.

The group shouldn't blow smoke up each others' keisters, but ought to celebrate achievement when it comes.

french sojourn said...

Steve, it was Groucho Marx.

That's my 3rd and final comment allowed. Out.
Have a great day yah-ll. I'll follow along from the sidelines. Go team.

Susan Bonifant said...

I have never belonged to a FB group that didn't eventually have to rein in its members over one excessive behavior or another. Many rules can't evolve until the group shows itself to be in need of them. And then, they tend to be serious because, well, Lord of the Flies.

If your post, however inadvertently, appeared to ignore those rules I'm not surprised you were scolded. Explain, but do it from a standpoint of respect for the guidelines and not one of being punished unfairly.

In a FB group that I belong to, so that the feed isn't clogged all day with self-promoting news and links, there is one post daily where members are invited to "drop their links" in the comments. It's what and where it's expected, and commenters are accordingly, polite, supportive and respectful.

Lucie Witt said...

The only thing more numerous than writers on the internet is cat videos. With so many groups out there, don't waste your time on one that isn't the right fit **for you**.

Congratulations OP!

LynnRodz said...

Amanda, it sounds like your group was a lot smaller than mine. That's why I love the one I belong to. With 150 people, you're not pressured into helping others all the time. When someone needs help with a query, a synopsis, a first line, or they're looking for a beta reader or a CP, there's always someone willing to help.

Actually, most people who ask for an opinion on something will get at least 7 or 8 people who will respond and sometimes as many as 30 or 40. You would think there would be some negativity in all that, but there's not. Everyone who comments does so because they think they have something to add that will help. And even with opposing opinions it always stays cordial and friendly.

After hearing about your experiences, OP, Nightmusic, and Susan, I think I got lucky.

angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

Congratulations, OP!

Fang was a wolf. He hated success more than the Grinch hated Christmas.

Dena Pawling said...

I moderate two [non-writing] Yahoo groups. My philosophy, which is NOT agreed to by some members, is to let people post whatever they want. I only get involved for (1) spam, (2) off-topic threads that go on for more than 48 hours, and (3) flame wars that get out of hand. I delete spam and ban spammers without warning. I usually warn off-topic and flame offenders before bouncing. Almost EVERY person I warn, calls me creative names consisting of four letters. I don't bounce for that tho, just for behavior on-list.

If you want a group with rules and heavy moderation, they are out there. I usually get bounced from those groups for posting my opinion when it doesn't agree with the opinion of the moderators. Some people like that type of group. I say good riddance.

>>Technically your post isn't allowed unless you hit the NYT and/or USA Today guidelines.

Since when is NYT and UST the only good news a writer can get? Geez, even around HERE it feels great to get a brief mention on a flash story, even when the mention is only from someone in the comments section.

Just my opinion, but that FB group sounds like a “good riddance” to me.

Congrats on your news!

Craig F said...

If your addiction for FB is that acute, join another group. Better yet start your own. All of the groups out there got started by someone.

Regretfully I have seen many writers lose confidence after they are published. Their first got them a two book contract and a two year deadline for the second. Then they realized that they could not produce that second, especially with that time limit. Many of them then start a group where they can be the Lord of the anthill.

Maybe it is better just to seek out another group. Don't settle on the first you find though. Make sure it fits you properly

Megan V said...

Firstly, Congratulations OP!

Second, don't let the group get you down.

Sometimes the writing journey is like going through middle school again. It makes you feel like an awkward tween who's desperate to be noticed, but terrified of embarrassment.

I mean there are always going to be people who support you, people who snipe at you, and people who pretend to support you while sniping at you. Don't worry about them. Just write.

Laura Mary said...

Diane, I hear ya on the knee-jerkery. I love hearing peoples good news, especially here - it gives me warm fuzzies and makes me think that good things will happen for us all.
Except on the days I'm feeling particularly crappy. On those days it gives me horrible squirmy feelings of inadequacy and makes me aware about how very far off my good news day is. Those are the days I log off and go do something else.

Sometimes jealously makes monsters of us, it's a shame some people can't recognise it.

Congrats OP - and yes, do find another group!

BJ Muntain said...

All groups need rules. The larger the group, the more strict the rules need to be or members (because there are always *those* members) will take advantage and take over.

Before posting anything that could possibly be self-promoting in ANY group, know the rules. Self-promotion can ruin a group. And every group will deal with it in its own way.

Writing groups have their own purposes. Some may be friendly and supportive. Some may be necessarily practical. The larger the group, the more specific the purpose(s) must be.

If you're looking for support, find another group. This group wasn't what you were looking for. That doesn't mean it's not a great group, just that its purpose and yours didn't align.

Adib Khorram said...

I had some bad experiences when I was younger with Internet groups (some writing-related and some not). I got so emotionally invested in them that the drama in the group was taking a toll on my own mental health. Now I limit myself to Twitter and this blog. Twitter is not so much a group, though, since each user can curate their own exposure. And this blog is the sanest, nicest group I have ever been a part of.

You have to find out what is healthy for you and stick to it. If a group is bad for you, don't just leave—RUN!

Elissa M said...

People are interesting. Just reading the responses here reminds me of how everyone has their own way of seeing things, and how that way might be different depending on circumstances. Something to keep in mind when creating fictional people.

OP, given the natural differences between folks, don't feel bad about not fitting in with that group. It's a reflection on them, not you. Think about it. Do you really want to be in a group so petty they kick you out for being happy about something that doesn't fit their narrow criteria of what's worth celebrating?

This is the sort of incident I consider a blessing in disguise. It always hurts to be rejected (don't we all know?), but now you're free to find a new group--or to dedicate more time to just writing.

And congratulations on your success.

Janice L. Grinyer said...

Oh the irony :D I just deactivated my FB acct, but not because I needed trussing - I need to finish my manuscript before the end of this year. I have been on and off FB since 2007. My good friends/family know when Im busy, so we just "talk" in other ways, like email and the phone. They arent butt hurt - they respect my time, as I do theirs.

I re-evaluate priorities every so often concerning the internet - if a social group is distracting rather then adding, OPIE, its okay to move on. If you want balance in life, its important to do this.

The Shark's Blog is one of those that adds. I have learned more here then the classes I took in college. The commentators are great. And there are no book fees...

Janice L. Grinyer said...

Im using my second comment to add to the first!

edit my comment to -"There may be no HIDDEN book fees here..."

I have spent money buying books that are listed here :D but without a bit of regret! Who can resist good reading?

WriterMinion said...

Writing groups are, to me, strange and dreadful things....they are wars and rumors of wars. The act of writing is intensely private and personal for me, and it is not something I actually talk much about to others. I don't know if I could successfully take part in such beasties....I lurk here (and a few other places), but seldom jump in. The public interaction at QueryShark is probably Good For Me.

Of course, I am also an intensely private person....my "real world" work is a combination of sales consultant and international tour guide (really). For those gigs I put on another face and fake it for however long is required. Then I go and write....my friends & loved ones have learned "if the ear-buds are in, he's writing. Don't poke the bear."

To the OP, just surround yourself with voices that matter. Find a group that does fit, life's too damned short.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

"If you want support buy a truss," girl you are funny.

Anonymous said...

First, congratulations, original questioner. Well done. You deserve to be recognized for your hard work and success and that group doesn't deserve you. Move on. I've reached the point in my life I refuse to squander my goodwill on curmudgeons unless it's to irritate them. Having said that, I get along fairly well with curmudgeons when I want to.

When Dad was dying he wanted me to live in the nursing home with him, so I'd be around him more. So, I lived in the VA nursing home for a little over two weeks and ate nursing home food right along with the best of them. One elderly black gentleman fancied himself to be quite a rounder. His wife was absolutely elegant and I can imagine they made a stunning couple in their youth.

I stopped to talk to him one day in the dining room and he informed me he didn't talk to anyone who didn't pay him. I slid a quarter to him. "That ain't much money."

"This ain't much conversation."

After that I went prepared with quarters so I could say good morning to him like I did all the rest of them.

Anyway, off track already and this will break the rules.

B&W (Compuserve Books and Writers Lit Forum) has a wonderful support system. It doesn't matter what you accomplish, people are there to cheer you on. They don't allow spamming, but if a member sells a book or has a new book come out they are welcome to announce it to hearty cheers from everyone.

We are genuinely happy when one of our own does well. There are a great many published and successful authors who started out there.

At Surrey, we encouraged one of our shy woodland creatures to enter her first page in the Idol workshop. I recognized Ru's writing immediately as I had beta read for her. It was even more beautiful with Jack Whyte reading it, but I thought the agents won't ask for it because it starts slowly with a faint forbidding until the man arrives. Laurie McLean said she wanted it. Later at lunch Laura Bradford said she knew Ru was stuck on Laurie, but she'd like to see it also. Ru explained to both it wasn't even done yet. Don't care. Send it when it's done.

Think you not there was great rejoicing in the B&W camp?

This is as it should be. We're going to be there every step of the way to support Ru while she finishes it and then to help her polish the fire into the heart of that baby.

Writing is lonely business. Even if you have a support group of two, you need support. People who are not interested in your success are anchors to keep you from sailing.

Donnaeve said...

Everyone's already said it.

Just dropping in to read, and say "hey!"


Kate Larkindale said...

A writing community group that isn't supportive isn't worth being in. Find yourself a new group, or if you can't find one that fits, start one of your own and invite your favorite people from the unsupportive group to come and join it. That's what I did when my on-line critique group started falling apart. And now I have the most supportive and amazing crit group a girl could hope for. We certainly celebrate any and all successes, and commiserate over pitfalls. And while there are a few rules, they're more like guidelines or common courtesies.

Julie said...

Wherefore are thou Colin? And, for that matter, WHERE art thou, Colin?

Did you decide? Because it seems that Janet chose to put you in negative space.

I'd be very wary of that, my friend. (Grin)

Especially as I have it on good authority that she may be heading to a crime conference relatively soon... (Super evil grin)...


As to support in online groups and the presence or lack thereof, has anyone here ever seen Galaxy Quest (who is willing to admit it)?

Hilarious. Especially to Trekkies, and those who love to pick on them.

It's got Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver as well as Alan Rickman, and it is just stinkin' hilarious.

Anyway, there came a point in the movie where these adorable little beings all came out to help one of their own who was hurt. The dialogue went something like this.

Sigourney Weaver: "Oh, look! They're going to help the little hurt one!"
(Cute little aliens gather around)
Cast: "Awww..."
(Cute little aliens suddenly bare enormous fangs and dive on the hurt little one.)
Cast: "Oh s#$%*!!!"

My experience with online groups - whether for manuscripts or queries or for writers to gather as a whole or whatever - has been something like this. I've seen a lot of folks like the OP come tentatively forward with good news, or with questions, or requesting read-throughs, and the cute little alien participants gather around, all innocent-like, and at first, they're really supportive.

And then someone says something like, "Well, you might change this phrase here."

And then someone else says something like, "Yeah, I was thinking that as well. Actually, that entire sentence doesn't really work."

And then suddenly, it's "Really, you should trash that whole paragraph."

And before you know it, the tentative writer's spirit is crushed and he/she is dragging him/herself off licking his/her wounds and wondering what the heck happened. It's a little like road rage, I think - or riot behavior. What we wouldn't necessarily say to one another's faces (especially as we can't see one another on internet groups), we for whatever reason feel comfortable saying online. Not just in critique groups, but everywhere. FB, Twitter, whatever.

Now, we can all say "To be a writer, you have to be tough..." and, yeah, you do. You have to get used to rejection and all that.

But we're all human as well, right? It takes courage to put your stuff (either written material or questions or opinions or whatever) out there, and when you're doing it online to people who aren't potential agents, I think lots of people expect not to be chewed up and spat out. Or else they know better and just don't put their stuff out there to anyone but people they trust.

Anyhow. That's my opinion.

Be gentle with the teeth. :D

Here's the clip, if you're interested.
Galaxy Quest Clip


Janet Reid said...

Julie M. Weathers can break every single rule and I don't care.
I think her stories are well-worth any meandering.

Also: Lady Bronc Riders.

Ardenwolfe said...

"Nothing brings out the fangs more than success." If nothing else, remember that line. It's so true, Moses should've brought it down from Mount Sinai. Instead of thinking about it as a brush-off, consider it a stepping stone to success.

Some people always wish you the best . . . just so long as you don't succeed first.

Amy Schaefer said...

As soon as you have two boats, you have a race, and as soon as you have two* people, you have a difference of opinion.

OP, find a group you love. Some place it makes you happy to visit to share, vent, ask, or do whatever else you need. If this group is worth salvaging, do it. If not, move on.

*If you're a writer, it only takes one.

Unknown said...

Congratulations on doing so well with your book.

I do think you should be able to share good news with a group that is meant to support you. However, I also feel rules are rules. Even if you do not understand why rules are in place they should be understood and respect. If you are not happy with the rules of the group, find a different group or start your own.

Seriously congratulations again. You should be proud.

Colin Smith said...

I'll take my second comment to second Janet re. Julie W. :)

As for my current location... after all that palavar hanging around the hanger, waiting for the shuttle that never goes anywhere, I find myself pursuaded by gun and pointy stick to step into Janet's slush pile box. The world shimmers, I hear whirly noises, my phone disappears, I lose a lock of my hair, there's a pain like a dart my arm, and suddenly I'm in white space. Absolutely nothing to see--except for a sign that says "Fiction Novel, 2 miles" and an arrow pointing west. I think.

I've nothing better to do, so I'm following the sign to see what's there...

John Frain said...

Let's all ask Hank questions since he already used his allotment of comments!

In a ball league I play in here in the states, we have a rule that you can hit three home runs over the fence. Anything after that is an automatic out.

To someone on the outside, that likely sounds like a silly rule. Penalizing someone for hitting a home run. But it's an awesome rule put in place by someone who really understands the game.

I can't help wonder about the rule in OP's group. Knowing the admin as well as I know OP, I'd have to side with the admin here. OP, if the group was important to you, figure out a way for a second chance. If not, move one. (Said the guy who totally understands being bitter for 48 hours and then casting bitterness aside.)

Terri Lynn Coop said...

They actually did a study on this. The average lifespan of an online group is about 18 months before it starts to fall into cliques and flame wars.

In the collecting world, I ran one that remained pretty cohesive for 12+ years. It was done with rules, spelled out, and enforced. Even so, I was a pretty benevolent dictator. My late husband was the petty tyrant and it spawned issues and grudges that persist to this day.

It sounds like OP ran into a petty tyrant. Like the poster the other day that wanted to respond to the agent - walk away.

Yet another group was for women who travel by themselves. OMG, what a shit-fest. After the mods refused to deal with one particularly bad incident, I wrote a blog post about the life cycle of an Internet troll and posted it. Admins turned on me like wolves. I didn't flounce, I just used the door. A few of us formed our own group and the "other" group said we "stole their ideas" because there was one common word in the title of the two.

That's what you get when there are no rules.

I got stuck as last admin standing in a small writer group that has died a merciful death of ennui. One thing writer group mods have to deal with is the constant memememememememe. Some do it better than others. I got to witness some epic flounces. In one, the mother of the writer private messaged me and threatened to comment-bomb my novel. You know what I mean, "Nice little book you have there, be a shame if something happened to it."

So, either this mod is a petty napoleon or has been burned.

Trust has been breached. Walk away. Terri

french sojourn said...

John....'yer killin' me!

Janice L. Grinyer said...

third comment, then back to writing the rest of the afternoon (except to feed the horses and dog)

Julie's words -

"People who are not interested in your success are anchors to keep you from sailing."

I love this - Postnoting it for sure.

Also, I will never look at a quarter the same, Julie. I miss my parents, both have been gone now for too long. I am an adult orphan :D But somehow you make me think I should be stopping at the neighbors down the way and bring some quarter worthy goodies to buy some talking time. After all, this is the same 84 year old neighbor who shot a bear in his kitchen last year...that story is worth its weight in gold, and I could listen to it again and again :D

See? The Reiders here are really good, OPIE, share your news with us, we'll congrat you !

Panda in Chief said...

Just wanted to add my hallelujah to the chorus.
Life is too short to deal with pettiness,and I say that as someone who generally likes rules and likes to follow them. (Well, mostly I do) Must be that "good girl" training I got as a kid.
I have to side with OP here, assuming he is not one of those people that spammed his group with lots of promotional posts. Good news deserves to be celebrated always even when the little knee jerk voice in my head whispers in my ear, "it should have been you!" I stifle the voice and yell HUZZAH! As loud as I can.
But really, there are lots of groups on FB. I'm sure you can find one that is more to your liking.
And whoever said there are as many cat videos as there are writers groups, I agree wholeheartedly. Now to go watch some cat videos while I enjoy a kale smoothie.

whiporee said...

I do want to throw in the tiniest smudge of defense of the group in question and its moderators.

They seem to have very specific definitions when it comes to posting successes, and I can understand that. Opie posted they had reached a high level on Amazon sales, and I could see that very quickly deteriorating into a discussion/flame war about the legitimacy of Amazon listings/rankings, which would lead to a bunch of loud statements and mean commentary, especially when the book was offered for free. I can imagine what would follow would be a bunch of "Well, sure, if you're giving it away" and "you know you're hurting all of us when you do sh*t like that. Why don't you let your book stand on the merits of its price tag?" -- comments like that. Okie would have to respond (because you kind of half to) and suddenly we're in a verbal holocaust with every member shouting out what should and shouldn't be counted when it comes to rankings and sales.

I'm not a member of any Facebook writing group, but I imagine that's why they are strict on defining success, because otherwise competitive fires and the need for validation take over a form very quick.. They asked Opie to take it down, and Opie chose not to. Thus the ban.

BTW, Opie, congrats, and I hope you find a new group soon. I suggest AW -- everyone there is, by rule, supportive.

Anonymous said...

OP, congrats on the success at AMZ! I'm sorry your FB group was less than supportive about that.

The RWA chapter I belong to has always been incredibly supportive and encouraging. But our main forum is an email loop. Whenever someone posted good news, there would be 93 emails all saying some version of, "Congrats, that's awesome!" And then 93 replies saying, "Thanks!" In that format, it got to be... tedious. So we started a FB group, where that kind of news is encouraged and welcome. It's also reported on our website and in our newsletter. It wasn't a matter of not wanting to hear it and celebrate, just a matter of deciding where that was appropriate.

Anyway, my experience is that if people want rules that preserve the intent of the group but also want to be supportive, they'll get creative about ways to do both. Sadly, this sounds like a group that just wants rules for the sake of enforcing them. I've encountered those as well. Walk away. Any group that hurts you or your writing is not worth your time.

[Man, this directive to be succinct is killing me. Clearly, I need the practice.]

Karen McCoy said...

Definitely agreeing with the masses. I was once the moderator of a listserve that had both librarians and vendors in it. One vendor decided to mask advertisements. I almost banned him outright, but after some forethought and feedback from the other members, I decided to let him off with a warning.

I'm curious how the "warning" they gave you turned into an automatic ban; this seems like bad moderator practice to me. If masked advertisement guy can stay on that other listserve, you should have definitely been able to remain on this one for a much lesser offense.

That being said, "should have" is a terrible phrase, and like others have said, you're probably better off without people who don't seem willing to offer support.

CynthiaMc said...

I don't comment a lot because there's no time between my job and my show (in rehearsal for a new one, the old one closed this weekend). Thank you for the WIR so I can somewhat keep up.

I was 12 when I lost my dad, 20-something when I lost my mom and 50-something when my mother-in-law passed away with us by her side. One gift death brings is discernment. It becomes very clear what's important and who's important. Plays hell with a career, but better for the soul.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Amy says, "As soon as you have two boats, you have a race, and as soon as you have two* people, you have a difference of opinion."

I love this.

Ahoy, oh boy, so true.

Anonymous said...

Urg, sounds like an awful group! Maybe you're better off out of it, OP? Being bounced still sucks, but it sounds like they're a pretty unreasonable group: maybe you can find a better one :)

Pepper Smith said...

Sadly, some people just don't want you to succeed. It just really isn't worth it, emotionally or mentally, to stay in a group like that. There are better uses for your time and energy.