Quite frankly, when you register to be a member and there is nothing to let us know that you are interested in participating in our forum and you use odd pseudonyms, as spambots do, I ere on the side of safety and delete those accounts and, unfortunately, sometimes folks who are really interested in our forum are deleted inadvertently. So give us some information about yourselves. In the least, where the app asks for interests, say 'theatre.'
Personally, I cannot fathom why one would take the trouble to write a lovely poem or a thoughtful play, post it, share it, ask for feedback, and choose to remain anonymous. I cannot imagine my writing something, anything, taking pains, doing the best I know, feeling pride, and not attaching my name to it. It is not required, of course, but I don't understand it. To stand with our work, take ownership of it, forces us to better prepare our work, to choose our words of dialogue wisely, more carefully, create our vision by doing the best we know. When 'jiggledejog' writes something, I am always wondering who it is behind the mask, and why - and unless you've been here long enough to establish your level of interest, I don't give the work a second glance. But that's just me and even with my full name, I am, too often, not taken as I would prefer.
Writers aren't always confident about their work and it can be intimidating for it to be scrutinised, especially by strangers. Everyone on this website seems very kind, friendly and understanding, but you never know: it only takes one critic to destroy a writer's morale. If you remain anonymous, you can get over the humiliation and not take it personally.
Writers are also notoriously shy and unsociable. Maybe not everyone in a forum like this wants to meet other writers, see their work performed, share experiences, make friends or begin relationships. This website is more about the plays than the writers - if not, why aren't we using Facebook?
And those people who are brave enough to provide their identities needn't fear us anonymous beings. We're not Internet stalkers: we just like reading and talking about plays. Don't delete us like vermin - we don't do any harm!
You make an excellent point, absurdist. Thank you.
I must tell you, however, neither I nor Paddy would ever delete anyone with a pseudonym - never. Some members have been inadvertently deleted only because they were mixed in with the dozens of spam-bots needing daily removal. And to those, I sincerely apologize.
All I really want, that will help us with sorting all those creative monikers from the spam, is to put at least 'theatre' in the interest box.
BTW, I can name you, off the cuff, a dozen members who use pseudonyms, and are among the most intelligent, helpful, talented and respected members of this forum. Without them, this forum and all of us would suffer greatly (they know who they are).
Again, absurdist, you make an excellent point.
I wish you laughter, bravos and fabulous lighting,
Edd (which isn't really my name. When still a teenager, I stole it from Edd Kookie Burns of 77 Sunset Strip, because he was so damn cute.)
absurdist perfectly sums up my feelings about this wonderful site with this phrase:
"This website is more about the plays than the writers."
Once I posted here why I like this site. One reason was because the personalities do not get in the way of the work. I don't have time for that. Whether people are known or anonymous, all we have are the words on the page to see and then critique, if we so choose.
It is quite pure.
And, I have developed several very nice working relationships with people on the site. A respectful give and take.
This is a little off topic, but I also had mentioned in the same post, in some workshops or classes you can get disturbing, derogatory or contentious/defensive personalities either of the moderator or a participant you have to deal with that can diminish the goodness of the experience. (I call them "The Pompousites.") It undercuts why one would take a workshop. I have known successful writers who have wanted to flee conferences and workshops. Years ago, I fled one myself, though it was an acting workshop. On this Forum, no one has a vested interest to protect, whether known or using a pseudonym.
And the critiques one gets here are as good as anywhere. Whether brief or long, they are courteous, perceptive, constructive and they are FREE. Have you not noticed how many on the site have recently been winning a spurt of awards or getting productions/readings and crediting the help they have received on this site?
Though I am neither shy nor unsociable, my creative process is private, as is most peoples. And being a working actor all my adult life, where one is by necessity is judged on how one looks, moves, sounds, reacts and fits in with the whole production concept, it is peaceful to visit a place where "it is more about the plays than the writers."
So, maybe for some of us this is our Playwright's Anonymous.
It is a great site to be used as for little or as much as one wants.
However, I would like to get an idea what state or country one may be from. I always find the actual geographical reaches of the web and The Forum kind of interesting. And if it eliminates spambots, great. Almost every time I come to the site, I see some spambot name at the bottom as being online. Makes more work for you, paddy and paul.
in media res
P.S. And edd, you and paddy have always been quite quick to dismiss any discourteous behavior that has very rarely occurred on this site since it became a moderated site several years ago. BIG PLUS! And kudos to you, paddy and Paul.
Very interesting thread. I'm kind of a twist--somewhat shy, but nonanonymous. (That is a fun word to say--maybe that's why I'm it.)
I use my first name--and anyone could find out my last name easily enough--for a couple reasons: ego and habit! As a newspaper person for two decades, I wrote under my own name and just can't let go of that. Plus I like getting "credit" for things I've written.
One other thing--as a reporter I developed the hide of a rhinoceros. That happens when people send letters to the editor blasting you, your story, any children you have or someday might have, etc. My favorite denouncement was from a woman who didn't like a column I'd written about a redneck diner. She raged about the way I "sashayed" around town and then asked, "Why can't she write nice stories like the person who wrote about Father _____ ?" (a priest whose name I've forgotten). Funny thing, I was the person who'd written the story about that priest! I've discovered that many critics are a lot like that woman...
p.s. On this forum, one doesn't need a rhino hide. The comments I've received here, while insightful and helpful, are also invariably kind.