by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Sometimes as web writers we come across things we don't like in our research. While some might tell you to walk away from it, I'm not going to. Immerse yourself in the ickiness. Seriously. It's good for you and humanity. I promise.
I don't like bad things. Isn't "negativity" bad for me? Well, yes and no. While it may not be a good thing to dwell on something you can't change, it's not a good thing to ignore what you perceive as "bad". Why not? Ignoring the ickiness only makes it worse. If something bothers you, instead of ignoring it, immerse yourself in it and find out how you can change it.
Why should I get that close to the ick? Nothing will change if it's ignored and not studied. You can't take action on something you know nothing about. As a writer, you have the power to reach a wider audience than most and actually get something done. So immerse yourself in it. Figure it out if it really bothers you that much. If it's bad enough to make you want to ignore it, that's a sign that something about it needs to change. When something creates that powerful of a response, it may be a sign that you're the one who can change it. The only way to change something is to know about it and then take action. You can't do that without getting up close and personal.
Why me? Why should I be the one to get a dose of ickiness? Why not? If you're the one who feels bad about something, you're the perfect candidate to fix it. The bad feeling you get is likely telling you what's wrong with the bigger picture. This means you may have the solution others are seeking. What if no one else has thought of the same thing and it could help you, as well as them? And again, you are a web writer. This means you have an audience that might be able to listen. You have the power to spread the word about these things and do it in a way that people understand. Remember, "the pen is mightier than the sword".
It was just a stupid story or piece of research, right? Again, no matter what it is that you are perceiving as "bad", if it was enough to bother you, maybe it's not "just" a story. Maybe it's more than that. I'm a big believer in the fact that everything happens for a reason. I also happen to believe that if your brain is telling you something (some call it intuition), you should listen. Those feelings you have, such as anger or frustration, are exactly what you need in order to get motivated to solve a problem. Use that energy to do good, instead of ignoring it.
When people walk away from ickiness, it remains icky. While it may be hard to focus on the "bad" things in life, it takes focus, discussion, and/or research to solve those things. If everyone keeps ignoring what they perceive as bad or wrong, it never goes away. In fact, it will likely get worse. That's like ignoring a leaky toilet and hoping the leak will solve itself. Of course it won't. It's going to get worse and worse and turn into an even bigger issue until you fix it or call a plumber.
Immerse yourself in the ickiness. It's good for you -- and for humanity as a whole.
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Every day as I am browsing Facebook, I see at least one photo posted where it is the intent for people to comment and bash the person who is the subject. I see this most common with either very slender women or very large women. Why? Facebook photo bashing needs to stop. Now.
For those of you doing said bashing, who made you the authority on how someone else should look? Perhaps they have a health issue causing them to gain or lose weight. Perhaps there is nothing wrong at all and you're just rude and judgmental. Maybe it is something else altogether.
People come in all shapes and sizes and all of them are awesome. Being different is what makes us each unique. And we are all beautiful for our own reasons.
“But look how tight her clothes are for her size.” “She looks like a skeleton.”
Again, do you know how she got there? Furthermore, even if you do, it's her body not yours. Only she can decide what to do with it. “But I have to look at it.” Umm, no you don't. If you really don't like it that much, then look away. But don't make her problem – if she even has one – worse by posting her photo online and ridiculing her.
Ever looked at the figures on cyberbullicide – suicide as a reaction to being bullied online? Could you really live with yourself if that happened to someone because you wanted to have some “fun” commenting on a photo online? Really? If care for your fellow man/woman doesn't stop you from leaving those nasty comments, perhaps the knowledge that cyberbullying is a crime will. That's right folks, it can land you in jail or worse, depending on the effects of the bullying on the victim. Look that up too while you're at it.
I propose a challenge to anyone considering leaving a not-so-flattering comment on one of these photos. Find something nice to say instead. I guarantee you that will feel a whole lot better than the alternative.
Photo Credit: Lyn Lomasi
I originally published this elsewhere (no longer published there)
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
I've been using Facebook for several years now. I don't know if people are getting ruder or I just never noticed or experienced it before. But lately, it seems that people are getting extremely pushy about everything under the sun. Don't get me wrong, I spout my causes there too. But sometimes it isn't what you do, but how you do it. Or maybe I'm just being picky again. You tell me.
Have you ever had a friend complain about something you posted on your Facebook wall? I'm not talking about posts which would be against the law – and in some cases, the posts are not even controversial, as far as I know. I'm merely talking about the everyday things in which you're interested. By complaining, I don't mean disagreeing, which is normal and fine. I've actually had people demanding in private messages, emails, and even directly on posts that I don't post certain things, like animals needing to be rescued or reputable scientific information. And I'm not even posting anything graphic. This is happening with normal pictures of sheltered animals and other normal, everyday things.
From shelter animals to scientific information and everything in between, people are actually attempting to dictate what I post on my own Facebook wall. I can surely understand people disagreeing with me – and I don't expect everyone to agree with what I post. In fact, I love a good discussion because it's how we all learn things. I post what I do because it's me, not because I want it to be you or I want you to believe what I do. I also post it because maybe someone else out there relates to me and it helps them feel they are not so alone in this world.
To me, my Facebook wall is like my home. In my home, I feel comfortable to freely be me and this is what I do on my Facebook wall as well. If you don't like what I do in my home, then why stay? We can hang out elsewhere or not at all. I am not forcing anyone to come into my home – or in this case, to look at my Facebook posts. No one should feel unwelcome in their own home and lately, it seems that certain people would like to make me feel this way on my own Facebook wall. Sorry to tell you, but that game doesn't work on me. Feel free to hide my feed or unfriend me if I'm really all that annoying. But please don't tell me what I can and cannot post, especially since the same is respected for you from my end.
I've already moved on from the effects of those who have done this and continue to post what interests me. However, I hope that if anyone else is getting the same, this post will help them not feel so alone – and possibly motivate them to speak up about it too. Bullying or attempting to control others in any form is not okay.
Has anyone ever asked you not to post certain things on your own Facebook wall?
Photo Credit: Lyn Lomasi
I originally published this on BUBBLEWS (no longer published there)
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Comments from readers can make a person laugh, cry, or even stare off into confusion. Readers can do anything from asking genuine questions to trolling posts and leaving comments to get a purposeful rise out of the author or other readers. Should web writers answer reader comments? I've written on this topic before but it's been a while and is a good time for a refresher course, as well as some new information.
Is responding to your readers allowed?
Depending on where you are doing your web writing, responding to readers may not be allowed. If you are writing for a website or blog other than your own, be sure to know the terms and what is and isn't allowed. Some venues encourage commentary between authors and readers, while others prefer that only the readers do the commenting.
Is the comment genuine?
Before you lay your fingers on that keyboard to draft a response, consider whether the commentary left is genuine or not. Does the reader appear to be truly curious about the subject or does something seem off? Sometimes readers may leave comments meant to reel you in, so to speak. Consider the motive behind the comment before deciding about responding to it.
Is your response reactionary or truthful?
Are you just responding a certain way in a moment of frustration or passion or are you being completely truthful? Be genuine and true if you are going to respond to your readers. If you can't be truthful, there's no sense in engaging readers via the comment section. Sometimes what you want to say at first may not be totally in line with the way you truly feel after some thinking. Some comments don't really need a response and many times you'll find that your readers will come along and defend you if the comments seem to call for it. You won't have to say anything because they will do that for you. Of course, I am one who really doesn't care what people think of me, so I generally don't feel the need to be defensive anyway.
Is your response useful?
Don't waste your time typing up a response that isn't going to benefit your readership in some way. If your reader is asking about lizard care, there's no point in answering questions about your college degree, unless you graduated from some lizard specialty school and it's relevant to the questions at hand. A helpful comment section will include questions and information that adds to what is available within the article itself.
Is your response helpful or hurtful to your desired image?
Is the language and context you present in your commentary what you want to present to readers and potential clients? I personally am my true self no matter where I am. Therefore, I don't worry about this one too much. I know that I am not going to say anything that I wouldn't say in front of anyone, including business contacts. But if you know that you don't have the same awareness and control, be sure to examine what you are posting before hitting that comment button. Some people may find it helpful to type up potential comments in a document and read it aloud before posting.
At the end of the day, if you are truly comfortable with what you are posting and it is acceptable to the venue, readers do appreciate interacting with writers. Therefore, if done correctly according to your personal standards, this could actually boost your career.
Photo Credit: Lyn Lomasi
I originally published this elsewhere (no longer published there).
You spend hours on a submission perfecting every little detail when along comes an editor to mess with your masterpiece. If you're going to make it as a writer, you will have to work with editors. A necessary part of the publishing process involves dealing with editors.
Learn to compromise. Editors can and often do change things. That's what they're there for. They catch the little mistakes we make (and we all make mistakes). They also may make changes that are better for structure, your audience, the web, and more. Though you may not always agree with their changes, you will have to deal with many of them. Depending on the publication, you may be able to form a compromise with the editor.
Let it go. That may be easier said than done in many cases. As writers, we see our writings as our little babies, if you will. We work hard on it and it means so much to us. Altering it can feel like someone is trying to change us. After all, it does have our names on it. But at some point, we have to learn to let it go. If the work never bypasses an editor, it may never get out in front of the audience. Try not to get too attached and let the work go once its complete.
What's the change? Instead of becoming to attached to the way the piece is written, focus on the message. If the edits do not take away the message, don't be so hard on the editor. It's perfectly fine to address the editor if you feel that the changes are unsatisfactory or take away from the message. But if the change is nothing that takes away the message, why waste all that energy getting upset? Write another article.
Report the editor. This is only for extreme cases. I say that because as a writer, you will need to learn to deal with the fact that your writing will be changed by editors if you want it published with major companies. If the editor really is making changes that are unreasonable (and not just changes you don't like - changes that affect the quality of the work significantly), that's when you report the editor. I advise not taking this route unless necessary because a writer and editor need to be able to work together peacefully. But obviously, if there is an injustice it should be reported.
Switch venues. If you just cannot deal with a particular editor, write somewhere else. Ultimately, you should be happy with your writing (or any) career. If that's not happening, you haven't found the right venue/s to write for yet. Realize you should not be switching venues every time you don't like what an editor does. But if there is a true problem, remember that you can move on.
Write for yourself. If you truly cannot deal with anyone at all messing with your own work, only wrote for yourself. When someone is paying you to produce work, it should be what they want, hence part of the reason for the editors. If you create your own venue, such as your own website or blog, you make the rules. Even if you go this route it can still be a wise move to have an editor or at least a writing buddy that is willing to be a second pair of eyes. But you'll have the most freedom when writing for yourself.
Bottom line: Editors are a part of the writing and publishing business and writers need to be able to adapt to that fact. Work with (not against) your editor, unless you have a legitimate claim against them.
Lyn Lomasi & Richard Rowell are life & business partners. Owners of the Write W.A.V.E. Media network, they are your content superheroes to the rescue! Running their network, tackling deadlines single handedly, and coaching fellow writers & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is their top priority. While rescuing civilians from boring content and marketing, they conquer the world, living the RV life and making Crafts For A Purpose with their awesomely crazy family while recounting The Nova Skye Story, along with Kymani’s Travels. They also strive to one day cuddle with lions and giraffes. Until then, they’ll settle for furry rescue kitties and doggies.
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