1. …you may not be networking with the right people. Ok, you put in all of your info, designed your profile page to the way you like it, posted on the page how excited you are about meeting everyone and super geeked about displaying your work to get critiqued. Think is yes it’s important to impress other aspiring writers because these are your peers as well as potential buyers once your work comes out. They understand what you are going thru right now. They’re still in that hungry stage, well most of them are anyway. However they are not experts no matter how you put it.
2. …the area you may get critiquing in may not be the area you need to work on. What I mean by this is you post a portion of the novel you are working on or all of it. One person from the group says you need to create bolder characters but what if it’s not the characters? You rewrite your story and now the story line gets swallowed by the outlandish characters you created. Get as many opinions of your work before you decide to rewrite the story.
3. …you can lose valuable time along with potential connects. It is very easy to get so involved with an online community that you don’t get to focus on your own work. Yes it’s exciting to be networking and bouncing ideas off other talented writers but what’s the point if you won’t use those ideas? Here’s where discipline and organization skills come into serious play. Designate a certain amount of time each day or week just for updating your posts, talking to others, etc. and stick with it. I noticed when I give myself say for instance an hour to get things done, I come out more productive for that day than I would have if I stayed online all day.
4. …giving too much of your work leaves a wide open door for your work to be stolen. I’m from the hood. I DO NOT trust no one but myself because I know what’s going on in my head, I don’t know what’s going on in your head. Certain circumstances may cause another peer to steal your ish and publish it under their name just to get a book deal. One lady at the post office of all places told me that it would be a good idea to have my work copyrighted before sending it off to different publishers or agents so you don’t get your work stolen. That was the first time anyone has mentioned this to me. It does cost a pretty penny to get your work copyrighted so for people like me who are on limited funds a month right now don’t worry, you still are covered under the common copyright so that if someone does post your stuff without your permission you still have the right to do something about it. Make sure you put on your book the copyright symbol. That is why I do free ebooks so I’m not necessarily setting myself up to be jacked and if I do I’m not trippin cause they were free anyway. Now my actual works I will only post a scene or two.
You may not wanna listen to me about joining an online community and that’s cool. I’m not telling you to disregard them with hail marys and holy water but I am telling you to be cautious and smart. If you wanna keep doing what you are doing, do you. Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke. Do you have any advice of your own on how to handle online communities? Comment on it, I would luv to hear them.
Peace and Luv!