Wednesday, August 04, 2004
My journal will not be updating for several days while they work on the server. At least they sent an email warning people this time! I'll have a whole series of days to upload when they're done.
A year ago I took over running Forward Motion. It wasn't until January that we officially took Holly's name off the site, but I had been running it for several months already. In fact, I had unofficially run it several times before while Holly worked on her books. In this case Holly had just gotten tired of dealing with the Children (and that is not a designation of physical age) who were determined to play games that had nothing to do with writing and everything to do with ego. She enjoyed the others, but the people who were less interested in writing had made it impossible for her to just hang around.
And, of course, Holly had a whole new direction in her writing career starting up, and she had to devote herself to that work. The people who had created trouble at the site took too much of hr time and energy. She had to give it up.
I also remember how close it came to a choice between me taking over the site or closing it down. It took me a couple days to decide, and I think I made the right choice, but it has played havoc with my own writing this last year. I'm finally starting to get the hang of doing the work for the site and still getting my own material scheduled in. My writing count has finally picked back up, I'm glad to say.
So here we are, a year down the road. There have been a number of changes in the site, but nothing that has taken it away from the original vision. Forward Motion is a community to help writers with their work. We have more than doubled in membership since I took over, and we're coming very close to 5000. Last month we had over 8000 unique IPs visit the site. We have several thousand posts a month from active members and good many more lurkers.
Today we began the work of finally transferring the site registration over to me. I also paid the site dues for the upcoming year. The trial period is over, and now it is all officially in my hands. That doesn't mean anything new for the site. It does mean a full acceptance of the responsibility for me. Up until a few hours ago I could have still said just close it down and pretended that it had not been my site anyway.
Now things have changed: My site, my decisions. There are always going to be people who disagree with the way Forward Motion is run. That's the nature of the world. There will always be people who disrupt a site that others enjoy just because it does not suit what they want, and there will be people who disrupt a site because it's not their site and that annoys them. I have learned one important thing over the last few years, and that's just to make a decision on how to deal with them and don't count on reasoning to win anything. I make my decisions in a way that I think will best suit the site.
But there are also ten times as many people who have found something helpful in Forward Motion and who are also willing to help others reach their writing-related goals. Forward Motion is a unique showcase of International cooperation in a field where we are competing for those few publishing spots. We don't have to help each other, you know. We could hoard whatever knowledge about writing we have to ourselves, berate new writers, or give them bad advice (and I have seen a LOT of bad advice out there on other writing sites).
Instead, we have a site dedicated solely to helping other writers become published.
The site is not going to change from that goal or the way in which that goal is presented and enforced. I wish that it didn't have to be enforced, but sometimes such things have to be done.
If you are looking for a site where you can espouse your favorite political views and berate others for theirs, or proclaim your religious beliefs preach to the masses, Forward Motion is not the site for you. However, if you are looking for help to become a better writer, and if you are especially interested in trying to make your way into the world of publishing, I don't think there is a better site on the Internet.