Oh boy! Sometimes I question the level of professionalism of freelance writers. I also question how ‘in touch’ with reality some of them are. Perhaps it’s a generational difference but I’m discovering that some writers in writing groups on LinkedIn are bitter and pessimistic. These are people I prefer not to associate with in my lifetime. The point of a group discussion is to learn from one another not attack one another. You may not agree with your fellow freelance writers but you don’t have to rip their heads off!
Freelance writers, groups are meant to be a place where people can bounce ideas off of each other not attack one another. I wonder how freelance writers would treat one another if they had a group meeting every week — that is a face-to-face group meeting. Being online provides the ‘illusion’ of safety or anonymity but you’re still representing yourself and the type of person you are.
I’m professional when I answer a discussion question. I join groups to learn and network; attacking other freelance writers or editors isn’t on my agenda. Some of the responses make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Conduct yourself in a manner that doesn’t give others the impression that you’re difficult. Remember, people use LinkedIn groups as a way of networking. Most people don’t want to work with those who are difficult. You never know who you will ‘bump’ into at the next writer’s conference or workshop.
If you join writing groups on LinkedIn, Yahoo!, Google, and other online groups, be professional. In addition to being writers, freelance writers are business owners. You can be polite and courteous and still get your point across. There’s no reason to attack one another. Besides, one day you may come face-to-face with the people you treated poorly. What will you do? You won’t be able to hide behind your computer. Think about that before you give a scathing reply to discussion questions.
How professional do you think others are in writers groups? Share.