At another website I am holding a contest. It's a simple contest. Basically I asked if people were tired of getting generic comments on their work, and if they actually wanted a critique. I even have four simple rules:
1. Poems only
The reason why I request just poems is because 99.9% of poems that are out there
are crap. I have read probably a million+ poems
, I'd say 60% published and 40% unpublished. I'd say 39.5% of the 40% is rubbish
. So imagine reading amateurish prose and/or stories. I'd go insane.
2. Left-aligned only.
Most poems should be left-aligned. Certain types of poems are fine centered but most should be left-aligned mainly because they're easier to read.
3. I have not previously commented/critiqued the poem.
Why comment on something I already have? Unless it's been drastically changed, I don't see the point.
4. Don't bitch (unless you're a bitch)
That was for levity but people do bitch when one critiques others works but that's the point of the contest so...they shouldn't.
Then at the end I left a note that I wouldn't begin commenting until the closing of the contest which closed 30 days later. I got 98 entries. I have critiqued 33. I have removed 3 for not following the rules, and after my critique 3 have removed their entries themselves. Too bad for one of those because they were a contender.
It's a point system with a fake pixelated trophy if you place. Points are earned several ways: 1. Getting applauds for your works and/or comments 2. You can earn them by taking a class
3. Placing in a contest or you can purchase them for A LOT of money.
There are members on the website who are professors at universities, prestigious people in life who post their work and help others be better writers. I am not prestigious, I'm not a professor, but I am published. There are people there who actually want to help others be better writers; that was the intention of the website 13 years ago when I joined. Of course now, these days, it seems to be more about the "social" aspect then the learning, which is sad.
Those who know me there see me as an asshole, a prick, controversial, etc., which is fine that's part of who I am but they also see me as a really good critiquer, and even those who loathe me ask me to critique their work which most of them are better writers than I'll ever be and I do take it as a compliment when they ask, whether they loathe me or not.
But others there, who know me or don't, and I critique when I comment; especially if I feel they have the potential to be great writers. And my critiques are never rude. I don't tell them to change anything, I suggest it. I don't degrade their work, I attempt to amplify it. I try to help them be better writers. I don't critique them just their work.
I've held over 150+ contests under mainly my main account for the past 11+ years. My contests are 99% of the time created to help amateurs be better writers. And, don't get me wrong there have been people who have been appreciative over the years but I am getting exhaustive with those who blame me for their errors. It's not that I can't take it it's just critiquing work is not like making a generic comment; it takes thought and effort, and sometimes time.
I found going to an individuals work and critiquing causes a lot of trouble. Rarely does it not. Everyone is always looking for praise. Those who want to learn are few and far between, and it's hard to find those people. Sometimes respected writers there and elsewhere suggest others come to me but with these people...I am just becoming exhausted with it all.
A part of me says, "continue" and the part I think is winning is saying, "give up". And I have never held a contest where people didn't bitch at me for rules they didn't read.
These people go to my page, leave nasty remarks in my author comment area, or click on one of my works, don't read it, and say nasty things. And, I can delete them, or report them but, what's the point? They'd just be told to place me on ignore, I mostly likely would be blamed for it whether I did anything wrong, or not, and that's it. So I leave them, and I don't report them.
There are people there that respect my opinion but most of those people are already great writers, they really don't need my help but I'm getting older, and my patience is getting thinner and I just don't think I can do it any more.
End of vent.