How forums suck the joy out of whatever activity you joined it to learn about

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.

Just don’t.

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.

Written by Lisa R. Howeler

As a writer, photographer and former journalist, Lisa R. Howeler writes a little bit about everything on her blog Boondock Ramblings. She self-published her first novel, A Story to Tell, in September 2019 on Amazon. She's a wife and a mother and enjoys a good John Wayne movie and a cozy Jan Karon book. She's also a freelance writer and photographer who is a contributor to various stock agencies, including Lightstock and Alamy. Her photography work focuses on documentary and photojournalism.

8 comments

  1. I am not a Facebook person at all, but even with other platforms I get overwhelmed with some groups. It’s great to find people with similar interests, but it’s the plethora of information and tips and ads and cautionary tales and comparisons. Don’t get me wrong, these are helpful sometimes but it’s better for me to search for assistance as needed rather than get bombarded. Also, for writing, a basically solitary endeavor, there is a lot of group think going on. Beta readers, editors, proofreaders, that’s all good but no substitute for sitting your butt in a chair by yourself and writing. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I will never understand that with some people, just how mean they can be when someone is new and going for their dreams. There are no rules when it comes to the things that makes us happy, those things we love to do. There is nothing wrong with sharing that with others too. If we put too many rules in our life then we end up not being able to do anything. Maybe some people like having all those rules or maybe not, but they shouldn’t try to force their ridiculous rules on others just because they got roped into them. Shoot with what ever makes you happy, write what fills your heart and soul with joy, and share with others as much as possible. By sharing you will discover the people who are your kind of people. I always thought of photo shop as cheating. So glad I never got involved with Facebook, sounds like High School all over again…NO THANK YOU.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sorry you have had such awful experiences. I hope you find others around you to uplift you in the things you like to do. I’m not a photographer, but I blog so I can tell you what I know if you have questions. I’m in a couple of very good Christian blogger communities on Facebook and they branch intro writing fiction and non-fiction (not necessarily Christian). Just saying. Let me know 💕

    Liked by 1 person

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