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I participate in several different forums – mostly geared to writers. It’s a way to expand my social network, to brain storm, bounce ideas off other creative types, get and give advice about the whole writing process, or find answers to questions that Google can’t answer.

It’s also an exercise in restraining myself from typing things like:

  • Wow, rude much?
  • Who pissed in your cereal this morning?
  • I’m glad you have an opinion, and I believe you’re entitled to it. Now kindly quit trying to forcibly shove it down my throat.
  • So, are you always this much of an asshole, or is it just when you’re safely behind the anonymity of the ‘net?

And that’s just for starters.

I have a healthy understanding that the internet can bring out the worst in people. Heck, I kept my blog anonymous for a very long time specifically so I could vent. It’s a personal blog, that’s kinda what it was for!

What I don’t understand, will never understand, is the sense of assholery that populates certain forums (and writer’s forums are not unique in this, it’s just grammatically correct assholery).

One particular forum I recently joined is essentially a return to middle school – with all of the cliques, drama, stupidity, grand standing, and ill-formed opinions that entails.

I should have known something was up when many of the users do not have links to their blogs or sites, most are not using their real (or pen) names, and few have links to their published works.

Either it’s a bunch of unpublished writers posing as “experienced” people, a bunch of self-published writers who don’t want to admit to being self published (seriously nothing wrong with self-pub), or – more likely – they don’t want anyone to associate their author name with the assholery they engage in on the forum because that would negatively impact sales.

OK, rant over.