My fellow Writers of Mass Distractionand I belong to writers' communities all over the internet. We evenstarted some of them. For the most part, the writers conductthemselves as professionals.
For the most part.
There are the blowhards who think theyhave the answer, no matter what the question; the newbies who can'thandle criticism no matter how they insist they want to know thetruth about their manuscripts--they really just want to be told howwonderful they are; and the "Eddie Haskells," the suck-upswho have appointed themselves the sites' watchdogs, demandingcredentials from other writers when they have no business demandinganything from anyone. There are the clingers, who see any kind wordas an invitation to be your BFF...or something even more intimate, and there are the shit disturbers, who just want to argue to get attention.
The presence of such characters meansthe groups can turn into real soap operas sometimes. There was awoman on one site, married with children and grandchildren who wasswept off her feet by a man who really poured on the charm. Shealmost left her husband for him. When he didn't live up to herexpectations, she went home to her husband...though I heard she laterleft him for yet another man. I suppose that comes from a need tolive the life of her fictional heroine, I don't know. I would thinkthat kind of drama in real life would be be exhausting. I'd rather write the dramas and have a peaceful reality.
Then there are the fights--really nasty fights.
A few days ago, a friend had a run-inwith a very angry woman in a group I don't often visit. I received anemail from William, letting me know about it. Times have definitely changed. There was a time whenhearing the words, "There's a big fight going on!" prompted me to runoutside to see which neighbors were duking it out.
These days, most of the fights are online.
"In this corner, we have the currentchampion from south of the border, El Gringo, known for his wit andability to piss off anyone, anywhere, anytime. And in the othercorner, the Amazon Queen, spoiling for a fight with any poor bastardwho crosses her path...."
I confess, I don't know what startedthat particular fight. I do recall that she called him a dick. I findthat surprising. The blowhard and the ass-kisser were both present,so what could he have done that would elevate him to dickstatus in the presence of such perfect examples of dickdom?