It’s been a long week with both work and this blog. Normally I put up my post, enjoy your company, and go about my business. Wednesday (and spilling over into Thursday) I played hall monitor and basically let people run rampant here in an attempt to allow two sides to speak at once. For that reason, you’re not getting much out of me today.

Things I’ve learned via the conversation and in general –

– Monitoring grownups is often tougher than monitoring high school cliques. And I wonder just how many people who never resolved high school angst still battle it out in their adult lives? I don’t want to have to monitor again. It’s too damned exhausting and it takes away from my work.

– I was way too lenient on the blog Wednesday. The bad behavior started almost instantly. My fault for not putting a foot on it. The purpose of Wednesday was to allow opinions to be expressed, not allow people to divert from the issue by accusing, getting upset, and generally stomping around on my community. Blog regulars, I apologize for not halting it sooner.

– I’m so glad things will soon return to normal here. I’m tired!

– There’s an undercurrent on the Internet that I hate. It’s the “You don’t agree with me? How dare you! I hate you!” attitude. I hope we proved here this week that we CAN disagree and still get along. But somehow I doubt it.

– I truly hope my allowing the discussion to take place here does not impact my business or my clients. I put up with entirely more than I needed to in order to allow for open dialogue. And frankly, the sniping and bickering was draining. I don’t want a client coming upon this blog to get the impression that this is just another place where women pair off to claw at each other. And let’s face it – it’s women.

– I’ve got really good blog friends. I know some of us share opposing opinions on a number of issues, but every one of you whom I’ve known through this blog continue to amaze me at how professional you are. I’m glad to know you all. I love that we can disagree and still like each other. That’s the kind of people I’m happy to call friends.

– Giving someone the space to express their opinions is always a good idea.

– No matter what you say or how you say it, there’s always going to be someone who’s going to find a hidden agenda.

– Farm Town on Facebook was a big time suck. I’m glad I let my crops go to waste.

– I’m much stronger in my resolve than I thought. BS has begun rolling off me like water from a duck, and I’m much faster at seeing people’s true motives.

– I’ve built a pretty good career – one that I’m proud of, with some neat accomplishments. I’m glad I’ve put the effort into building a business.

– Sometimes what you say and what people hear share no common element.

– Demanding respect never gets it for you.

– Vanilla bean ice cream has that little bit of crunch that’s pleasantly unexpected.

– New shoes can fix any bad mood.

Tell me you guys have learned something. 🙂

About the author




  • Devon Ellington October 23, 2009 at 11:26 am

    You're right. One has to earn respect. And part of that, especially on something like a blog, where the listeners/readers can't factor in one's tone of voice is to really think and read over what you've written (I'm talking about the general "you", not you specifically, Lori) and how you've presented yourself before you hit "send". If you've got a strong emotional reaction to something, take the time to fashion the response offline and re-read it a few times so that it's a logical, measured, professional response and not just going off. It serves everyone better, and certainly the poster.

    And yet, there will still be typos! 😉

    I always want to bang my head on the desk when I think I've been so careful, and yet there's STILL a mistake. That's why I adore my good editors!

    Behave professionally, EARN respect, and you'll get it. Snipe and whine and stomp your cyber-foot, and you've presented yourself in a specific light.

    Lori, you did a great job. You presented both sides of an issue, you invited people to discuss it and use examples from their own experience.

    Any client or potential client with an ounce of common sense would be savvy enough to know that, and, well, we ARE trying to weed out the others, aren't we? 😉

    I, for one, thank you.

  • Lori October 23, 2009 at 11:59 am

    LOL Good point, Devon. Thank you for your support over the years, both online and offline.

    And thank you for your thoughtful, detailed posts. I'm not surprised that no one bothered to read and respond to them – they were factual, honest appraisals and much food for thought. I read them. I appreciated them.

  • Wendy October 23, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    I have learned a few somethings. My job is to inspire and support and I haven’t done a very good job of it lately. But, I’m human and every once in awhile we need a time where we can vent, get our “fix”, so we can move on.

    I appreciate what you have done here this week. You’ve voiced your opinion, allowed others to do the same and gave someone the chance to share her side of the story even though you knew there was a good chance the outcome wouldn’t be good.

    A couple of things had hit home in all this. The fact that you were the first to ask for her side of the story is one. She was right; no one that I’m aware of had spoke out on their blogs and offered her the chance, until now. It’s been just a lot of bickering back and forth.

    The other is that we should be able to voice our opinions in an adult manner. Some had griped with Skype. That’s crossing the line. Even though I disagreed, I still have enough respect for her, as a person, to keep a more civil attitude and stay within the limits of blogs or forums. Attacking in a more personal mode is wrong.

    I’ve had my fix on this issue and now I’m done. Thank you for giving me the chance to get that out of my system. I can now focus my energy on my clients. In order to convince my clients that I can do my job, I have to be able to live it. So, I’ve been toying with the idea of dedicating some of my blog to dealing with issues like this. Haven’t figured out what direction I’ll go, but I’ll think of something.

  • Lori October 23, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Wendy, thanks for your contributions this week, and frankly all this time. I've enjoyed getting to know you here. 🙂 And please – post a link to your blog. I want to put you on the blog roll.

    Like you, I started out with the inspire-and-support method. I continue with it. This one issue frustrates me. I tried begging, showing the obvious, and then I resorted to stronger language. Fact is there are choices we make and others make that are always going to be opposite. I can live with that, but when it affects my paycheck, you can damn well bet I'm speaking up.

    There was some definite non-civil behavior here, but I'm proud to say you guys were terrific in your approaches and your demeanors. Also, I felt that squelching the negativity earlier would have incited more of a riot than we had. People want to be heard. But I draw the line and being heard while you're miles away from the topic at hand and attempting to draw blood.

    I've had my fix, too. 🙂 I'm going to move on, but it's a message I'll keep repeating because I think it's important to help other writers understand their worth. Alas, the task remains. 🙂

  • Joseph Hayes October 23, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    This week I've learned that nothing propels creativity like a good deadline. Having been stuck on finishing a play script, I simply (simply? hah!) announced a public reading, and sent invitations to my mailing list. Our first rehearsal is tonight and I'm just finishing up today.

    So when that 1000 word assignment looms, just think of me, writing a 75-page script in a week, and think "I can do it!"

  • Lori October 23, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    I like it, Joseph! And I agree. Deadlines have a way of breaking through writer's block. 🙂

    Congrats on the first rehearsal! If you want to post details, post 'em here. Those of us close by would love to see the show!

  • Irreverent Freelancer October 23, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    I've learned that I can incite controversy without even trying. ;o)

    I just want to reiterate how much I appreciate your decision to allow both sides of the issue an open forum, Lori. Almost every content mill discussion I see is one side taking cheap shots at the other, completely deaf to what anyone else has to say.

    And even though I didn't comment on Devon's posts, I read every one of them. I'll be pointing to that discussion when I tackled the topic.

  • Gabriella F. October 23, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    I've learned a few things:

    1. Lori, you're a class act for offering Deb to express her side and for trying to police bratty children.

    2. Internet debates turn ugly quickly, and I want no part of that. I couldn't even follow all the sniping, so I chose not to. What a waste of energy!

    3. Nothing anybody said in favor of DS changed my mind. If I were to sum up my opinion it would be this: There a very few–if any–good writers without a college degree. And nobody with a college degree should be content with a writing fee of $15 an hour.

    Lori, you deserve a break after all that schtuff you endure this week!

  • Diane October 23, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    I let my crops go to waste within days of me even entering Farm Town. Bejewelled, on the other hand, is a totally different matter, it is the spawn of the devil, and it should be banned immediately. Like NOW.

    I'm sorry but I got totally lost in the whole content mill thing so stayed out until the dust settled. However, I didn't think it got so nasty that people will fall out. I think it was a good debate and good for you for letting it take place. I would have liked to have seen a few more names on the "anonymous" posts, people should have the courage of their convictions, but that's just my opinion.

    I think you need a bit of a break now, though. Tell you what, Lori, take the next couple of days off, yeah? :o)

  • Carrie Wilson Link October 23, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    "Vanilla bean ice cream has that little bit of crunch that's pleasantly unexpected."

    And sometimes that's all we have.

  • Lori October 23, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Oh, ha ha, Diane! LOL A few days off – hey, that's a weekend I see! 🙂 And if it's Farkle we're talking about, I'm with you. I stay away from BeJewelled. It had me too captivated in its early beta form years ago. I know a devil when I see one!

    I didn't mind the anonymous comments. People sometimes feel more inclined to speak their true feelings that way. Now if they were hiding behind the anonymity as an excuse to cause harm, no way. That's inexcusable and cowardly. Luckily I didn't see that happening. This time.

    Kathy, I LOVE how you were suddenly the center of the controversy! LOL What I didn't reveal was that the post that originated all this came indirectly through your blog. I saw Carson's post and followed some of his links, etc. So I guess it's all your fault. LOL!

    Gabriella, I'm glad for the chance to unwind, believe me! I can't really agree with the no-degree-no-talent notion, as I was once a non-degreed writer. Some of these people here have no degrees, but oodles of talent. So no, can't say I'm with you on that one. 🙂 But I do agree that a writer with a degree taking a low-paying job such as that should be questioning why. And perhaps should be rethinking his or her career avenues.

    Carrie – :). Sometimes it's all we need to, huh? I want you to know I appreciate you. :))

  • Kimberly Ben October 24, 2009 at 12:40 am

    I learned that this ongoing disagreement between writers is far from being settled. Sometimes we just have to agree to disagree. I think you handled the issue quite amicably, Lori. Have a great weekend and get plenty of rest.;)

  • becky October 24, 2009 at 2:49 am

    I learned that even if I'm trying to mellow in my responses, I can still cause a ruckus I hadn't intended. I'm sorry about that, Lori, as I hadn't planned on people jumping onto my comments. I really thought what I said would just fly under the radar. I stand by what I said, but I just didn't think others would care that much. Ouch!

    I can only imagine your headaches from all of this. I've been thinking about this topic for a new blog I'm starting, but now I'm not so sure I want to talk about it! Not the controversy, but my experiences with DS.

    And I've learned how addicting Farkle is, which is why I am absolutely staying away from Farmville. I have enough time sucks as it is!

  • Lori October 25, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Kimberly, that's exactly how I'd decided to approach it before I put up my original post. What has been lacking is the mutual respect on this issue – respecting each others' right to have an opposing opinion.

    I've heard the frustration from both sides. We all have. I hope that we can put down our respective banners for a minute and really think about how each side came to hold such opinions.

    Becky, no apologies necessary. You spoke your mind, and I'm glad you did. I thought your contribution was well thought out and appropriate. Please don't worry about causing ruckuses (ruckusi?) with your posts ever – in this case, at least, it was pretty clear you weren't intending to. You're sweet to worry about it. :))

  • Wendy J. October 25, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    I agree that we may be over our fix for now, but the message will always be there. We just have to remember that we don’t always need to raise our shields and brandish our swords to do combat.

    I think that in some cases; people find it hard to see that there are better ways, because they’ve been hit in the face with life. Bills are piling up and they tend to take our focus away from other things we could be doing.

    Unfortunately, that is the foe we’re really battling-life. Until they can get their head above water, it’s going to be a long and exhausting battle on our end. If we keep getting our message out there, eventually it will pay off, at least we hope anyway.

  • Lori October 26, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    I hope so too, Wendy. And yes, that's exactly what I see happening. Folks are buried in life and feel locked into the status quo. I often wonder if that's a cage of their own making? We have a tendency to accept status quo without question. I'm all for pushing outside the comfort zone.

  • WordVixen October 26, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    Oh goodness, if you think FarmTown is a time suck, avoid FishWorld at all costs! I was addicted to FT and FarmVille until I got hooked on FishWorld. Eep!

  • Lori October 26, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    I can't go there, WordVixen. I can't! I'm too busy, thank God!