(Note From Steve: This helpful guide was originally written by LoP Columns Hall of Famer, 1,000,000 BC. It rings just as true today as it did when originally posted, so here it remains.

Learn it. Love it. Live it.

Thanks, BC, wherever you are.)



BC Presents: 10 Commandments to Not Getting Hated in the Columns Forum


I don't know what's possessing me to write this, as I'm neither the best or do I have the longest tenure here, but I guess I'm writing this because I'd like to see this place pull itself up and really flourish and I think it still can. Maybe I'm just writing it because I think it'll be funny. Fuck if I know.

First off, what you are about to read is 100% my opinion. Take it or leave it. Nothing I'm about to say has been cleared with anyone but myself. This board has rules by which you must follow and you can find and read them for yourself. Follow them or you'll become a non-issue in rather order. This isn't that sort of thing.

Think of this as a guide. It's not a guide to success, but it's a guide to non-failure. What I'll ask you to consider in this text is completely possible of you and is, again in my and my sole opinion, what you should do in order to not get hated. If you want to get hated, feel free to stop now and go about your original idea. I'm confident it'll work.

All right, here goes nothing...


#1. Copying = We Hate You
This one actually is a rule, as plagiarism is highly frowned upon here, even in increments. However, for our purposes at the moments, I'm taking it to a conceptual level. No one wants to read your shoddy imitation of whatever columnist you've chosen to imitate. It's rather sad and pathetic, really. If the ideas you're using to fuel your work are copies of someone else's, you might as well just copy+paste their column, slap your name on it and get banned straight off the bat.


#2. Check Your Motives At The Door
Want to be on the main page? Get in line. There's a long one. So long, in fact, I'll never see the end of it. If you're really here because it's the OVW (Hustle Note: I guess it would be the FCW now) to LOP's WWE, you're not going to be around long. If you're here to...

- share your opinions and views with some of the most die-hard wrestling fans on the planet
- regale others with your tales of wrestling, life, drunken orgies, etc.
- pass on your worldly knowledge onto others not as "smart" as you
- improve as a writer/author/columnist/euphemism

...then you may just be in right place. Any other reason... we'll be seeing you later.


#3. Spelling Is Not Just A River In Egypt
If we can't read and understand your work, then we can't enjoy/learn from it, which is the whole point. A few mistakes here and there are not only acceptable, but expected. We don't demand perfection. If you can't be bothered to type the first two letters of the word "you" however...

There are plenty of word processing programs that have spell/grammar check functions, as well as the ever-popular www.spellcheck.net that no one's ever heard of. Check that link out if you get a chance. Not a bad idea, d00dz.


#4. Length: It's Not Just For The Women Anymore
One of the most common mistakes newcomers make is providing not enough content. How much is enough? It depends. It depends on who you ask and what you're talking about. It's not an exact science. If your column consists of:

Quote Originally Posted by Some Columnist Guy
I like wrestling.

It is fun.

Feedback please.
That's too short. The best way to get a feel for length is by reading and talking to other columnists. We all here to help each other, and you know that's true because I wrote this thing. I myself am a rather long-winded columnist, but if your writing style conforms to a shorter body of text... rawk on. That brings me to my next point...


#5. Quality Defeats Quantity, Second-Round TKO
Another common mistake I've seen is a newcomer posting a subpar debut, then eager to redeem themselves, posting a follow-up immediately in which they repeat a lot of the same mistakes. I call it "newb rush". If it takes you a month and a half to put together a quality column, work at that pace. It may be a competition sometimes, but it's not a race. Let the lessons you learn sink in and always aim to improve rather than to redeem yourself for a less-than-great piece.


#6. Your Debut Column Sucked. What Now?
They all sucked. Everyone's did. They should. The goal should be to improve. If your first column is wonderful, where do you go from there? There are subtle nuances that separate writing in the CF from writing in general that can't be explained here (though I'll try a bit further down). They come with time. Eventually, you'll find a groove if you stick with it. The important thing is to take all the feedback you get and use it in a constructive fashion to make the next one even better.

Actually, that's false. The important thing is to make a good impression with your debut. If people feel you're honestly and earnestly trying, they'll help you improve. If they think you're just fucking around, they likely won't. I've seen more than one columnist come through with a wretched debut and actually improve to a decent level but never erase that stain of that first bad impression. We're not bad people. We put work into our pieces and expect our fellow columnists to do the same. That's all.


#7. Develop A Format... Or Don't
Some people work well with a set format, a group of topics they focus on each time. Some don't. The best way to decide which type you are is to try them both. Never be afraid to experiment with something new. That's what keeps this place alive. Go with what works for you. Contradicting myself is what works for me. How so? Keep reading.


#8. Know Your Limitations
If you started watching wrestling in 2002, don't tell me shit about Ricky Steamboat. I don't want to hear it. This is really just a personal one for me, but I have a bigger message behind it. Don't try to do what you can't do. If you're not funny, don't try to be funny... because you're not. It just gets really awkward and then nobody likes you. Also, the whole "I know I'm not really that good but I'll say I'm the best ever because it'll be a funny gimmick and spread a little cover over the fact I suck" thing? Yeah, it's been done. I'm all for columnists having a personality (I myself have several) but it's one of those things that gets developed over time. Whatever you do, don't ride your gimmick too hard. It'll get old fast. The one constant should always be above all else, good writing.


#9. Those "Nuances" I Referred To Earlier
Yeah, you knew I was going to bring it up. Basically, here's the deal... This is something of a "community". Feedback is the wind that makes our pinwheel go. It's an exchange of ideas. That means you get to say whatever you want, but you've got to listen to. This is where feedback comes in. There are posters and there are columnists. Posters drop their columns off, like a flaming bag of shit on the doorstep, then run away, watching from the bushes as we get up to answer the door. Columnists, like me, are like a good next-door neighbor. We read your stuff, post our thoughts, then smile as we look and see you've done the same for us.

Be a good neighbor. Take the time. Make the effort.

Read my column and post feedback.

Fuck everybody else. They didn't write you a guide.


#10. The Most Important Thing To Remember
This is supposed to be fun. None of us get paid to do this. We do it because we like to and hope that others like we do it. If that concept is foreign to you, then... well, why are you reading this anyway? Why are you even here? Go away. To those still here, fun writing means fun reading means a fun place and I may be out of line by saying but... Good God, we could use some fun here about now. I'm guessing because you're here, reading this, so can you.


So that's it. I hope somebody somewhere has something they can take away from this. If not... oh well.

Now go, my children. Go and be free and take with you all of the knowledge this volume has taught you.

Peace, y'all.

BC