What’s happening to the Community Pool? Read the rules and you’d think it was there for writers and bloggers to get valuable feedback and direction on their craft. Awesome concept, that! Except that’s not what’s happening, is it?
Drop a chapter of a novel concept in the pool and it may sink like a stone. Not entirely, I think, because of bad writing or boring plot idea (although that may certainly contribute), but because despite at least 300 people floating ideas in the pool, only 3 will take the time to nod your way (and at least one may only be a courtesy response to your nod toward someone else’s post). Doesn’t this kind of defeat the purpose? I mean, you KNOW there’s a problem with your story – you even say so in your plea – that’s the whole reason you stuck a toe in. “My story sucks, but I can’t pinpoint why. Give me some help, fellow writers,” you may as well say. Meanwhile, everyone else is kicking and splashing trying to get their own ideas read and nobody’s taking two minutes to teach each other how to backstroke.
I thought it may simply be a numbers game. 300 people in the pool means someone’s getting splashed in the face unceremoniously, right? Nope. I posted three times yesterday (one for each section of my chapter) and got next to nuttin’. Want to know what the neighbor post got? This comment: “I was ready to scroll right past this, like I do all the others, but your blog title grabbed me and pulled me in.”
Scroll. Right. Past.
You know what would have been helpful? Taking three seconds to stop by that coughing, sputtering, flailing swimmer to say, “Dude. WTF? Your blog title SUCKS! Your writing might be excellent (or not), but I’ll never know because you need to change the title.”
See? Now THAT’S helpful. THAT’S what the pool is FOR.
What is the pool not primarily for? Fishing. You wanna find awesome new blogs to follow? That’s what Discover is for. That’s what Search is for. The Pool is for learning how to swim.
First Friday has become a more effective Community Pool than this, especially since a particular blogger has appointed herself Sheriff, despite being told (repeatedly) to take that shit to the Pool. But, hey! At least SHE’S giving feedback.
Wading into the Community Pool is a great place for Olympic writers to practice the Ego Stroke, but for those who worry they’re only treading water, don’t come to the pool expecting swimming lessons. I don’t think this lifeguard’s on duty, anymore.