The Scoop on Groups and Loops
There is a lot of benefit to joining and networking with others who are in the same business as you are. For creative entrepreneurs, there are plenty of organizations, private groups and email lists to go around. (I know about the writerly ones, so those are the ones I’ll discuss.) We go to these loops and groups to share our wisdom, our knowledge, our experiences and above all else….to bitch. We bitch about everything Amazon.com does. They are the evil empire, our fellow authors tell us. They are going to take over the world an then there will inevitably be higher prices for readers, lower cuts for authors, a monopoly on the book biz, dogs and cats, sleeping together; mass hysteria! But we don’t discriminate. We bitch about lots of other things too. After Amazon the Evil Empire posts, the main topic on the loops are about pirate sites, i.e. sites on the internet where ebooks are being sold illegally. Someone scours the net, discovers one of these sites, and then posts a warning, telling everyone to go to the site, search for their titles, send take down notices. And everyone does, and a day or two later, the whole thing repeats.
Note: I’m only saying “we” here to be kind. I do not do these things.
We bitch about our organizations. Where they choose to hold their conference. (Hint: if it’s not in our back yard, we’re against it.) We gripe about every change in the rules of every writing contest. (Hint: if it’s not to our benefit, we’re against it.) We complain and critique every revamp of every organization’s website. (Hint: if we can’t figure out how to navigate it, we’re against it. And it’s stupid. And its designer should be shot.) We panic when our sales drop and we post notes about that, and then other writers who have also had a drop in recent sales numbers, jump in and agree, and onlookers are convinced that the sky is, indeed, falling.
But the sky is only falling for those who believe it is. For those of us who believe our industry is full of sunshine and rainbows, sunshine and rainbows are what we will experience. With an occasional unicorn thrown in as a bonus. So let’s get to the root of the matter here. I understand the appeal of bitching. It can be so much freaking fun.