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This is why some writers leave

October 7, 2016
Posted at 1:06 am

As those of you who have followed my writing for the past few years know, I sometimes get emails that set my teeth on edge.

I like to share those with the masses in order to explain things in long form.

Today is one of those days.

Re: A Toast in an Empty Bar

Message from: (email address redacted):

A good story that hits the sympathy for familial loss and patriotic nerve.

It's a damned shame that you didn't do a better job of proofing reading it. (or take the time to do it)

There are words missing and, in one place, the sentence doesn't make sense.

It's as if you didn't proof read it at all. I wasn't inspired to read any other examples of your 'professional' workmanship.

If you don't take pride in doing a job well, why should I waste my time being aggravated by more sloppy workmanship?

Emailed through StoriesOnline's Mailing System_

Please note that, aside from removing the email address, this is the exact text of message.

Now, I should admit that my reply was something along the lines of "Fuck off, Bozo. This is a free site and you get your money's worth. I don't really give a shit if you read anything else I write. Enough people like what I do that I won't even notice that you're not one of them."

And that, in a nutshell, is why I refuse to attempt to sell what I write (and encapsulates my feelings on the matter).

I am not a 'professional' in the field of fiction writing. I do not claim to be a 'professional' writer. The people that edit my stories and do the proofreading on them are not compensated for the time and effort they put forth. They are not 'professionals.'

It is a hobby that I share with others.

That, however, is not the point of this post - as the title might suggest.

There are many good writers on this site. There are a handful of great writers on this site (and I do not claim to be among either group).

There is no one on this site that can quit his or her job tomorrow because the publishing houses are lining up to pay them hundreds of thousands of dollars. Anyone who believes differently is in for a surprise.

A few years ago, a guy I knew and worked with had me post some of his fiction on the site. I helped with the plotlines and the characterizations. The stories were well received and, to me at least, highly entertaining.

Then, the Grammar Police and Pedant Society excoriated him. So he stopped sending me stories to post. He said that having every single mistake pointed out numerous times was taking the fun out of writing. So he writes his stories and nobody gets to see them.

It's a shame but I get his point.

Me, personally, I'm a legend in my own mind. If you like what I write, great. If you don't, there are thousands of other stories that you might like.

But when I get an email like the one I got today, I think of Brendan Buckley and wonder how many other writers with great potential got tired of dealing with nitwits like this guy and said to hell with SOL.

If it's one more, that's too many.

Folks, let me say it again: There ain't no professionals here. There ain't nobody making more than a bit of pocket money from selling their wares. It's a free site, populated by amateur writers, editors and proofers.

If you want anything better, shell out the $30 for a novel by a named author.

But it seems petty to complain about a lack of 'professionalism' on an amateur site where you get something for nothing.

Regards to all,
Jay C.