Journalists are familiar with the panic of deadlines and novelists can identify with the horror of blank pages. Then, what about the desperation of those who feel the urge to write and do not dare or do not know where to go? This is where the online writing sites come in with enormous possibilities for people who enroll in them.
With the onset of the internet, we have the option of allowing ourselves get in contact with other writers and possibly make it to the storefront of the writing community worldwide. Better yet, the interactive relationship among writers helps us build skill, confidence, and an enhanced appreciation of the writing profession.
Internet writing sites do not have to be a showcase for our writing, although some are just that; they accept writings on a sporadic, selective, or random basis. Others only give advice or reviews. Some are just friendly places. Most, if not all, caution their members against scrupulous businesses, agents, and greedy unethical publishing practices. Most combine a few of those things. They are, generally, pleasant and highly encouraging, and it pays any writer or a writer-in-the-making to be a part of a writing site.
In June 2006, it will be five years for me in the writing site where I belong, and I consider registering there to be one of the best decisions of my life. Our site is not only a writing site but a community of people who truly care for each other. The age span of the membership extends--almost--from cradle to grave, as is the diversity and array of the experience of our members. Some of us are highly accomplished authors or English teachers, whereas others may be school children, and such a varied range makes it possible for members to interchange ideas and learn from each other. Since the content ratings are marked and carefully monitored, even the younger set can find and enjoy being in its own niche.
The multiplicity in our site offers us more than the differences in age or experience. We have contests, groups, discussion forums, genre writing, cyber stores, advice forums, and even our own currency. Plus, we are never restricted in our writing; all kinds and genres of writing have a place. Moreover, our site lets its members post their work in the raw or as a first draft immediately, because within a day or two each posted piece will get at least several reviews from other members. This is a wonderful concept, since a writer, especially the novice writer, sees immediately where his weaknesses are and how other writers and readers react to his work. I find the breadth and scope of our writing site truly amazing and give a lot of credit to the upper staff for its conception and innovative and continuing expansion.
Writing, after all, is a language in itself, and to those of us who belong to a writing site, it is the most basic language of all. Like any language, writing’s logic--the way it is understood--is based on standardized grammar, usage, syntax, sentences, paragraphs, phrases, content and construction. When these skills are taught by the highly qualified to those in the position of learning, not in a teacher-student manner but through camaraderie, the performance of everyone will surely improve.
If you are the least bit interested in writing, give writing sites a try. As a writer, you need reviews; you’ll get reviews. You may even sell your work or teach others. If a writing site takes it on itself to better its members as well as I have witnessed it happen, a member who enrolls in a writing site will have everything to gain.