JULY 16, 2011 10:06AM

The Bad Thing About Open Salon

Rate: 16 Flag

Last night, I saw an Oprah repeat with Suzie Orman and the Octo-mom. And Suzie Orman talked about praise and fame and how it gets to be like an addiction. That's what OS is: my strange addiction.

The great thing about OS is it is a great place to read oustanding writing and get read too. You get comments too and with any luck a few Editor's Picks.

It's very heady in the beginning because every day is like Christmas. You just can't wait to get on and see all the presents people left.

It's also one big treasure hunt because you can meander around and read the neatest stuff.

The bad thing about OS is that it becomes addicting--the attention--the praise and I think when that slows or comes to grinding halt--that's when people wander away.  That's why the guard changes so often.

I am no hero. I fall in that trap all the time and so I asked myself: Would I write if no one commented? Do we need that praise or can we labor our gift in obscurity, self-satisfied with job well done? 

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I write here because I have to. Totally addicted for almost a year now I realized right away that the praise and EP's are heady but mostly a distraction to just opening a vein and writing. All the different styles and motivations here make it interesting and you develop your own little bubble. If that is what wrong with OS then I don't want to be right. I like it here.
No question that everybody likes encouragement but what I value is incisive criticism and suggestions of where I should look for more and better information and another outlook. When too many people praise me I get suspicious it's all about easy gratification and merely making people feel good. I need a hefty kick in the behind on occasion to show me I might be able to do better.
I have never had an EP, but have made many acquaintances through the writing, the sharing and enjoy the interaction.
A T.V. writing veteran, Larry Brody told me that people really don't to know how to write better--they just want to be told they are good. And I have time and time again found this is true. People have come to be asking for "honest criticism" " I really want to know." They say. So I do. I give it to them. And their face falls and their eyes glaze over and then they act like I just said their kid was ugly. I would on the other hand love some criticism besides the fact I don't know where commas go.
I don't care about anything but just being able to have a blank screen upon which to play in word. This place is to me a sandbox. I would write here even if not one person ever commented, and I don't even really know what an Editor's Pick is, except that I work as an editor and I pick and choose what I want to read as a matter of course. Open Salon feels like a community and even though it happens in total electricity and not in person, I enjoy it and will keep enjoying it just for what it is---until I don't enjoy it anymore. Then I will move on--maybe buy a hula hoop and go play outside in my yard! I don't like to give advice when I'm not in editorial mode, but do keep writing, Ms. Bollerud, until it's not fun anymore.
The thing to bear in mind about OS, once the honeymoon is over, is that it is essentially a closed community. Non-members of OS can't rate or comment and seldom find their way here to read. Depending on the same pool of readers can give you a false sense of accomplishment if you're looking for a broad base.
For some reason I caught that Oprah episode. My first introduction to this Orman woman. I knew she was famous for something to do with money, but had no idea who she was. I thought she was so awful and so abusive to Octomom. The day I am so desperate that I have to put up with Suzie stinking Orman is the day I must die.
As for Open Salon: It's addictive, for sure. I come here to let loose or have fun, or seethe some of my impotence. I love the interaction and feedback, and I'm convinced we have a lot of quality people here.

I'd love critiques. But, I'd hope that only good intentions preceded the critique. I got a critique by PM once, and by an OSer I didn't even know, and it was done with good will, and I took it in that spirit. I thought it was generous and kind, really. I've never gotten an EP, but I never tried to get one, and so that's fine.
I see OS as an interesting place where fun and good will can show up at anytime. I too don't know where commas should go ;>(
Well put. When OS is no longer fun, people leave.
I think that the 'addiction' aspect of getting any kind of positive praise is something that exists in any medium, any format and, importantly, any endeavor. And we have to deal with that on our own.

I have notebook after notebook of ideas, essays, poems, stories, designs, inventions, critiques and god only knows what else, inclusive of self analysis style journals. No-one really ever sees those and still they continue to grow.

If you have to write and 'get it out' then that's what you do. Where you do it is really not that important. I came to Open Salon thinking, "Maybe here I can get some incisive critiqueing of my efforts." I really do not want folks to point out simple grammatical flaws, no. I'd prefer to have people comment on whether they understood me in the first place. Being clear is what I'm shooting for in Open Salon.

I didn't come here for any ego-stroking. It's a nice side dish, though I really would prefer a large helping of honest, civil discourse on whether or not I am being understood. Is the message I am attempting to send getting through? How clearly does it get recieved?

From the coments here, I think maybe the "Bad Thing" about Open Salon might be that strangers cannot come in and rate your posts. I think having a member's rating and a visitor's rating would be helpful. As a visitor, perhaps folks could give it a thumbs up or thumbs down rating only? Maybe as a visitor you are allowed only a Twitter sized response, maybe?

If you feel like you have something to say, then say it. If that comes out in writing, whether in print or on a screen, then so be it. If you can't imagine why you're bothering to do so -- and then find yourself doing so -- then quit asking why you bother and start asking, "What else do I have to say?"

The rest is just going to slow you down.

Keep at it and don't sweat the minor details of getting praised or ripped apart. If you have to write, neither one really matters very much in the longer scheme of things.

its not a crime to write for positive feedback, and a good blogging site would be concerned about that & see how to keep it as a priority. its surely one of the main points/reinforcements on here.
Praise can indeed be seductive, and that's probably not a good way to measure your own writing success. But it's not wrong to want to have readers: although there is therapeutic value in writing just for oneself, diaries and morning pages and even impulsive OS posts, there are many other reasons to write, and some of them just aren't fulfilled unless they find an audience. It's part of the process. I'm a little worried that my engagement with OS is taking away from my "serious" writing...although it's really helped my confidence, and I'm still enjoying it.
Nice piece. Rather agree with Jeff L. Howe's comments. Still, one can see and understand the addiction. As long as it doesn't control you. Thanks for writing this story.
I read much more than I write, but seeing people intersted enough to come back and read you again and again is. Very empowering. R
It is an addictive place to be sure. People's praise can be encouraging and it's a good thing as long as we don't give too much power to it. As for critiques, I don't think this is the place for them. (I wrote a post last week-end about OS and critiques.) I come here to read and be read because writing can be lonely and sometimes I want a little company. As much as I enjoy the nice comments and EPs, when I re-read my posts I am never satisfied with them. I'm treating everything I write here as a draft. Ultimately we have to be our own critic. It's good to see you here! LOVE the photo!!!
I don't know if I could have kept on without comments and encouragement. Feedback (not critique), has helped me "hear" some of my writing better.
I've been blogging for 5 years now--2 or 3 years here at OS, several years elsewhere. I blog now less than before. When I blogged more, I wrote about my things I remembered and one of the things that's happened is that as I get older my memories get fuzzier. If I can't remember, I can't write. I find that a lot of my blogging is now repeating the old stuff I wrote about.
John Guzlowski. (Robert H. Deluty too)
I always learn from your etc., sane post.
Rita Sitr never had a EP. No go boo bye?
I never anticipate a EP. I save all photos.
I'd not cut & paste photos of those I love.
With the WW2 Spam & old Pall Mall too.
They were given to GI's in Vietnam. WW2.
The CEO who sip red blood wine are Dark.
I had my family give a Robert H. Deluty book.
Sak Kass, Michelle, Barack got free books.
One book was a senyui poems books. titled:

Through the Darkness - Through the Light.

Maybe Robert H. Deluty get a EP. I go pee.
An avid reader like me on OS, I have been enjoying many good posts of varied interests. When I do not leave comments or rate an interesting blog, that does not mean that I'm not inspired by the blog. Some days I just want to quietly enjoy 'listening' to others' conversations and perspectives.

At times, the insightful thoughts or soulful sharing of the bloggers keep me wondering about the subjects or the happenings in the corner of their world. The bloggers didn't know, somehow, somewhere he/she has touched heartstrings.

Thank you for sharing. :-)
OS is the antidote for the old way. It was no fun writing away up in some lonely turret where the walls were papered with rejection letters. At least with OS, there is some proof of life when someone actually reads and comments on a writer's work...It is encouraging. And that is special.
Your thoughts resonate with me and most others here, I expect. I guess that means you're hooked, like most of us. Mimetalker's comment expresses my thinking on this almost identically. Umm, delete the "almost." ;-D
It's good to be King (or Queen)--and to be read.
I almost never get many comments, yet I write. For me, writing is a compulsion, something I have to do. Interaction with an audience is nice, but for me unnecessary.