Much as I already have with posting stories, I'm now taking my leave of these forums.
Some people probably will think it's because of recent threads I've been in. It's not; I've been planning this for a while.
I would say it's been fun...but it really hasn't. These forums—more than any others I've been a part of—are dominated by a small cadre of people who—wittingly or not—create an environment that does not feel inviting or welcoming. On the whole, it feels like a group of old white men with too much time on their hands ranting and raving about minor details that don't matter, or things they don't even know anything about. It reminds me of the conversations and arguments I've overheard old men having when I've volunteered at soup kitchens and nursing homes: insular and disassociated with reality, and unwilling to accept anything outside of their bubble.
I've tried. I really have. Some of the people on here don't seem to be all that bad, but that number dwindles more and more as conversations continue. It's become tiresome, having to read screed after screed. I've nothing to learn from the constant bickering over The One True Grammar (hint: there is none). And ultimately, I have far better things to do with my time, even in the realm of bettering my craft and interacting with writer peers. I choose those welcoming, curious, and thoughtful communities over this one—which appears to me to be none of those things.
I have seen statements from people about the insular nature of the community here, and I agree with it. I can only imagine the number of people who could have made this a vibrant, interesting community; but left for greener pastures. I'm sure I'm not the only one. And even if I am, so be it; I'll do what's best for my happiness.
Being here doesn't make me a better person. It doesn't make me happier, even in a long-term perspective. It doesn't further my career. There's no benefit. I may as well leave.
I don't expect that this explanation will lead to any changes; in fact, based on my experiences here, this thread will probably lead to people calling me what they think are insulting names; or telling me I'm wrong; or arguing over some grammatical mistake I've made here. Perhaps also some combination of "good riddance", or "don't let the door hit you on the way out" or something of that nature; or just terrible puns. There's a sliver of a chance this thread'll garner no real responses and slide into the void.
I really don't care. I've better and more interesting things to think about and talk with others.
So, I'm out.