This was written a while back. This is a tribute to writer’s carnival, a little something I put together for a laugh, and yes, I believe it to be funny. This is my personal experience with it told via fiction:
Fun fact: this story got me banned from the website.
Wheels On Writing
It was another Friday night, Paina was at the computer typing away, doing what it did best, trolling. Paina was literally a troll, but that term, Internet troll, it’s the real deal, trolls “troll” on the Internet.
“Hey Sean, same old, yelling at people who dare express an opinion, it’s my way or the highway, you know how it is.”
“Absolutely, how’s the editing team?”
To this Paina looked at his windowsills lined with the trolls with random hairstyles,
“Oh, they are great. Matter a fact they never critique my writing at all, that silence is the equivalent of a thumbs up, right guys?”
“See what I mean?”
I shook my head. The truth was the truth.
“How’s the website going?”
“Great, great. The community was going a little quiet so I decided to kick off this thing where they can earn a little icon next to their name if they try to put together a story about a horror topic, the catch is I’m going to limit the length to 2,000 words and then I’m going to get all the regulars to critique about how the story isn’t in depth enough, but hey, it’s for an icon next to their user name, cool huh?”
“Sounds like a great idea, best of luck, how did my poem do in the last contest?”
“Ah, it was well written, very emotional and in-depth, but this guy Frank put one together about a butterfly flapping its wings on a sunny day, he’s definitely getting first place. You can always join in on contests in the near future. ”
“Thanks Paina, I think I will pass, best of luck with the editing team.”
The Dream Team
My name is Sean, and I’m a writer. I strive to drive emotion in the most complicated ways possible, I think fast, I think swift, and I love to paint pictures with words. I’m also one half of the internet site run by his truly, Paina, we host a site that offers the opportunity to create a gathering of writers, and help them grow to their greatest potential. We called it “Wheels on Writing”, it’s kind of like the special Olympics, regardless of personal skill, everyone has the opportunity to compete here.
I used to write to vent, now I write because it is a way to make a living. It went from me trying to sound clever, to suddenly being students at a number of different schools and becoming an expert in a bunch of shit that I truly could care a less about. Want real estate done? You got it, investing? Sure, a paper about some painter that died 30 years ago? I’m your man. Ballerina? Fuck you, go write your own dance article, I got limits and my skill is endless.
Paina was my roommate, Paina was also someone that had some money and could get just about anything published, not because he had skill, but because enough money will get any given piece of writing the opportunity to get in print. It doesn’t mean it will be successful, but it is a great way to claim one’s self as a published writer. We’ve been running the site for a while now.
I found Paina one day at the library jumping on a million forums and yelling at everyone in a way that made a two year old tantrum look like a modified intellectual in today’s world, naturally seeing how incapable he was of hearing other people’s opinions the first thought that came to mind was that he should help me moderate a site, this was the birth of “Wheels on Writing”, we made all writing dreams have the opportunity of coming true.
We were a team, at least I thought we were, up until I saw he banned me…banned me….WTF I’m half the team!
So yeah, I went to log on, but I was banned…what the fuck?
“Yo Paina, what the fuck is this dude? Why am I banned from our wesite?
“Sean, my man, it’s temporary. Ya see, in the status updates you tried to promote your own personal blog, that’s just completely not acceptable. Gotta be more subtle, ya heard me? Put that shit in the author notes, this is all about Wheels on Writing, rolling to the fuckin future. We gonna bring this community to the top heights of writing, look at this mother fucker, he got 10 badges, I mean icons, he’s a lifer fo’ sho”
I was silent…
“You really banned me for trying to get a few more people to check out my blog? It’s not that big of a deal…”
“Sean, yes it is. In status updates people want to hear about who you are eating dinner with, and whether you are playing Frisbee in the afternoon with Timmy or your dog that is blind in one eye, ya feel me?
“I think I a going to take a break for a while from the site…maybe focus on some of my professional avenues”
“Take all the time you need my man, we are here waiting for you whenever you wanna come back or get some opinions on your writing. It aint gonna be the same without ya for a bit, will make do. Oh shit look, someone wrote about a leaf blowing threw the air, we gotta feature that shit, it’s poetic!”
And that is the story about when I was half of a website and I chose to walk away for a bit and pursue some of my own personal developments. I took some time to look into writing projects, handled quite a few, developed a solid name for myself in a number of areas, and was really enjoying my own kind of work for a while there.
After a bit I missed a few members of the community, but luckily I was kept informed about the million badge opportunities that became available on a near daily basis due to email updates. Fuck trying to turn them things off, no matter what you do they find a way of jumping over your spam folder right to the top of urgent messages.
I logged onto the site, appears that I had been unbanned after discussing with Paina that I understood the rules and regulation, and decided to read one of the new posts on the site. Unfortunately, all I had the chance to see was one member’s comment because the rest of the page was badges that they had earned, I looked at who it was, Frank, the butterfly poet. Apparently he had become the poster boy for this site and written several different poems about nature, not much about rain though, that would be dark and unappealing for visitors of the site.
I clicked on the ‘contest’ tab to check out what was currently going on, and I had to hand it to Paina, the man had a plan.
There were like 30 contests, none of them had any rational thought behind them, but bet your ass they were going on. I looked at the one and it read:
“Write a story in 100 words about a scary night terror”
Naturally, being a dark theme, I had to join in on this one, the problem was that when I described my character breathing and taking a step in the dark I had run out of available words to use. I took a different approach, I said fuck it, I typed one fucking word: Boo
The online response was fucking insane:
“Great fucking writing man, you put a lot of thought behind this”
“You gave me the chills, I was laying in bed reading and decided to check up on the site, and just wow, you’re talented”
I think my jaw fell to the fucking floor. Were these people serious? Boo was brilliant? Fucking Boo? I’d hate to type the word “Growl” they might fucking piss themselves.
Then, lo and behold, captain Frank himself commented:
“This is a great story. It could use a little more depth though. Maybe explain why the word Boo came into play, a little background about what the person knows about the word”
So, I responded:
“I have to keep it under 100 words though, I didn’t want to get too complicated”
“Good point, you did an excellent job, keep up the good work.”
Fuck me…what had happened to this site that had so much talent on it? I began to look through the members at one time I had conversed with a lot and it seems many of them had jumped ship. I didn’t blame them, I went into the room where Paina was and decided to talk to him.
“Paina, what the fuck happened to the site man?”
“Sean, my man, the site is off the hook. You seen these badges? People are going fuckin nuts, they love it. Subscriptions are going crazy, I think I’m gonna charge double the expense on this site next year with the sales pitch: double the price, double the badges. People will do it, they love these things, it’s a community of great feeling”
“Paina, the writing quality is going to hell, half these people don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground”
“Sean, they just learning brotha, everyone gotta start somewhere. And my man Frank here, he is going to the top. He’s got every badge I’ve ever posted to earn”
“I noticed, the computer screen freezes when his profile pops up, he’s quite accomplished”
“Sean, you got no idea. This boy got talent, look at this line of poetry he wrote:
The leaf is brown, Life has it’s ups and downs, but I won’t frown, I live in town”
Speechless…again….what could I say to that horrid shit?
“It’s bad Paina, really bad”
“You are too negative for this site okay Sean? Maybe your own blog is the way to go, this is about a supportive community. You can rejoin us anytime you want. We are having a virtual pizza party on Friday at 8, feel free to drop in, don’t forget about us”
I walked away, a site that I loved went to shit. It was run by a fool whose priorities were fucking lost, but I made the most of it. I reached out to the people that were great to talk to, the rest, I will watch from a distance as it falls apart.