I received an interesting email a little while ago. With the author’s permission I’m repriting, but not mentioning names.
I wanted to participate in your discussion about if FWJ should have a forum but I didn’t want to post my answer in the comments. I’m not a fan of forums because I don’t want to be friends with my competition. I don’t believe in “communities” centered around one’s chosen profession because I don’t want to not apply for a job because I’m feeling the love for another writer. Community holds writers back from getting what they deserve because they’re so worried about upsetting friends. Communities like this also create more competition because we’re all applying for the same jobs. So no. No forum for me.
Just call me Cranky (name withheld by request)
Wow, Cranky. What an interesting point of view. Suffice it to say I respectfully disagree. I feel community creates a helpful atmosphere. We help each other to succeed and that’s a very good thing. I never look at my fellow writers or bloggers as competition because we have so much to offer each other, and if we both apply for the same job? Let the best person win!
I found your note to be a contradiction, however. First you say you don’t like to participate in online communities because being friendly makes it hard for you to apply to the same job as someone else, but then you also say it creates too much competition for the same job. So, it can’t be holding too many people back.
I do think the virtual world enables more people to apply for the same job, but is that a bad thing? It just means employers are now able to choose the best person for the job from a larger pool of writers. Since there are more freelance writing jobs available now than before this whole web writing thing took off, it’s also good news for you. Consider this, the Internet isn’t going anywhere. There will always be jobs for writers. If you’re a good writer, you have a good work ethic and do what it takes ensure your clients’ happiness, landing jobs shouldn’t be too much of a problem. My competitors are my friends. If I don’t get a job, it only means I’ll be happy for someone else.
What do you think? Is community a bad thing? Are we fraternizing with the competition?