Here is a little advice: if you have found an activity you enjoy and there is a forum you can join that you think will help you learn more about said activity, don’t join the forum.
Especially if the forum is on Facebook. Before long the people on there – all with their own opinion about how you should conduct your new activity – will suck the joy out of your new activity and maybe even the joy out of you as a whole.
Trust me on this.
Say you want to learn more about photography. More often than not, you will hear things like, (said in a pretentious, stuck up, posh, for the British, voice): “Are you only using a Nikon 50 mm 1.8? That’s such a cheap piece of plastic. You really should invest $500,000 and then maybe you can be a good photographer.”; or
“You don’t know how to use photoshop or Lightroom? Well, then you will never be a real photographer.”
Or, for writers:
“You didn’t plot your book with spreadsheets and post- it notes and notebooks outlining every detail of your character for four years before you started writing? Well, you’ll never be a real novelist.”
“You didn’t pay $1,000 or more for an editor to edit your novel before you sent it to a literary agent or before you self published it? Well, then, you can never be a real author. Loser.”
I leave those forums thinking: “Forget it. If I have to spend thousands so a bunch of people can claim I’m now legit in whatever activity I enjoy then I am fine with not being legit. I am done with no one knowing who I am, never hiring me and not selling books. Who needs all these rules anyhow?”
I’ve learned that sometimes it simply isn’t worth the aggravation to seek support or advice from others. If you are going to join one of those groups, just grow a thick skin, remember why you started doing your activity in the first place, and learn how to skip over the Negative Nellies of the world. You’ll be much happier for it.