Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Are You Always an Asshole or Is It Just When You’re Online?

A couple months ago I joined a few groups on Linked In as a way to promote my work, get to know some other freelance writers (networking!), and possibly connect with people who (I’ve been told) frequent those groups looking for writers to hire.

I wanted to make sure I was in the right places if I was going to spend time in online communities chatting. It needed to be worth my while because I wanted to give the most benefit to the most people by sharing my experiences.

Weeding down to the basic groups that applied to my current position seemed like a smart idea. Groups geared toward freelancers, journalists, writers, etc. Everything was going great.

That is, until I started posting helpful articles.

Because as soon as I started sharing my experiences ofpersonal development as a freelance writer, the jack-assery started to fly.

Of course I want people to hire me but what I was sharing had little if nothing to do with asking people to do that. Quite the contrary, I really just wanted to help other writers. Because we’re all in this together even if what we do is a solopreneur enterprise most of the time.

I wanted to help struggling freelance writers see that it was okay to struggle, that it was normal to have questions. And then I wanted to help by giving my story of breaking into this industry as personal accounting for the answers to those questions.

But apparently some people don’t really want answers. Apparently many of the people in these groups spend little or no time reading the content and show up to do nothing more than attack the poster. It isn’t just my links, I’m seeing these same people belittle everything that’s posted.

They like to battle the advice, not in a challenging way that opens debate or engaging conversation. No. They simply set out to be mean.

And I just do not get it.

The reason it makes no sense is because those same people pose questions and they appear to be looking for answers. They ask how to break in, what kinds of things you need to do to break in, how to be a better writer. Then they stomp all over the people who provide those answers because it appears the advice wasn’t what they wanted to hear.

Sorry to disappoint but there is no magic formula to get rich overnight as a writer. Sorry if you didn’t want to hear that you’d actually have to work for a living. And work hard. That there are things you need to learn how to do before attempting to freelance for income online.

Now I’m not saying I think I have all the answers, I’m not that egocentric, but I have been doing this for a while, have found some clients and made some decent money from my efforts. I thought that’s what they wanted to know how to do too. You know, since they asked.

But apparently their main goal is to waste their own time and everyone else’s by being an asshole. I’m just glad I don’t have to live with these people. If that’s what you’re like online is that what you’re like in life? Yikes.

Maybe you should take some of that snark and channel it into a book or a blog post. Perhaps that’s your voice and you’ll find a few freelance clients who love to pay combative people who already have all the answers to the questions they asked in the first place.

There’s my free advice of the day to all the trolls who find it fun to battle those who came before you - Use your aggression in a more productive way.

Though I highly doubt you’ll take the advice if past history is any indication.

Go ahead, bring on the evil comments. I can take it because in the end my skin is thick enough to shake my head and sigh. Then smile because I’ll be helping the writers who want the help and both of us will be padding our bank accounts with client work that pays while you waste hours you could have been writing for money by being an evil online troll.

Sucks to be you.

I won’t stop posting my advice and suggestions because there have been a few people who have seemed to genuinely benefit from what I’m putting out there. But I won’t engage with people who feel it’s their duty to be a tool just to look like a big shot.

This isn’t grade school people, it’s the internet. Get over yourself.

And now I’m going to get over myself and get back to doing what I do for a living. Writing for writers who want to make money. Just like me.

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I'm Jenn, a Content Marketing Strategist, Blogger for hire and owner of Copywrite That. I can write your blog posts, articles, emails, newsletters, web copy and more. Contact me today: info[at]copywritethat[dot]com