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Drifting Apart. (standard:other, 2037 words)
Author: red1holsAdded: Apr 03 2003Views/Reads: 2312/1527Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
I can't explain - you will have to read it to understand.

Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story

It's difficult to say when things changed for me. It was probably about
the time I launched “Wanted: Secret Agents” upon the poor unsuspecting 
souls on the site. All of a sudden I realised that it was a selfish act 
to only consider my own ego. The site was full of egos. All were 
staring through their bars, waiting to be caressed to release with 

That is when I started to become more active in giving something back in
gratitude. I was no longer the new writer. It was no longer enough that 
my fellow writers sated my lust for feedback; I knew that for the 
relationship to work, I must give something back in return. 

The effect was electric! “Gerald” hit the presses and received a
veritable flood of praise. Never has my ego been taken to such heights. 
Never has the urge to write been so strong. It might sound like a 
cliché, but you do seem to reap what you sow when it comes to feedback. 

I learned something else. Reading work by other authors is educational.
You learn new tricks that you can use in your writing. These in turn 
improve your work, improve the feedback and take your ego to even 
greater climaxes. 

Around the same time, something happened to the site. I put it down to
some key members moving on. It was sad, for among these had been the 
readers who had helped me the most. The members that knew how to leave 
my ego gasping for breath amongst the crumpled sheets of feedback. 

I owed nicestories a debt. It wasn't right to pack up and leave just
because the flow of feedback had become a mere trickle. This site had 
given me so much. It has taken on a magnificent journey of discovery. 
It would have been wrong for me to abandon it. Instead, I felt that I 
needed to act to make the trickle a flood once more. 

My response was to make a point of reading as much new work posted here
as I could. To try and find the words that did the efforts of the 
writer justice. To see if I could sow the seeds of encouragement that 
would one day start the author on their own voyage of discovery. 

Strangely, this was not as hard as I expected. Indeed, for the most part
it was a pleasure. For about five months now, I have set aside the time 
to read some new pieces, preferably by new authors to the site, then to 
give them feedback. 

There have been some pieces where I have really struggled to find
something to be positive about. Thankfully, they are but a very small 

By far the majority make me feel a fraud for giving a review. My efforts
pale into insignificance compared to some of the talents that share 
this club. There have been those who have posted one work of such 
promise that I look out in the hope that they post again. There are 
those who have watched as their talent develops and wonder when I will 
see notice of their first book signing tour. 

The act of reading and giving feedback didn't turn out as a chore. In
fact I found pleasure in it. Somehow, it didn't matter too much that I 
didn't seem to be getting more people reading the new work and giving 
authors feedback. The pleasure of thinking I was doing a little bit for 
fellow writers kept me going. 

One day last week I just wake up and started my daily routine and then
suddenly realised that something is missing. I halted mid-task and just 
wondered what the hell I was doing. Actions that brought me such great 
pleasure felt as if I was paying my taxes or balancing my cheque 

Suddenly, the fact that I didn't seem to be having any effect was making
a difference. It was like finding that in order to make love to a 
beautiful woman, you had to close your eyes and think of Margaret 

It was a crushing discovery. More than anything, I wanted to be wrong. I
wanted to find that I was making a small difference. 

So, I sat down and took a note of the statistics on the new stories
page. I also noted the statistics for the entries in the Comic Cup. 
Instead new stories every day, I checked the statistics. 

Today, the truth hit home. I wasn't making any difference. The level of
reads on the new stories is pitifully low. Especially if you exclude 
the work of the sites established talent. It even appears that the 
entries in the Comic Cup are not being read again before people cast 
their votes. 

It seems that over the last year, the site has moved on and become
something different. Just as I have moved on and become a different 

The site, my fellow members and I now seem to want different things. One
person suggested to me that the forum is better read and has more words 
posted than the story section. That might be true. If it is, then I am 
as much to blame for that as anyone. 

The truth is nicestories and I have drifted apart. If this were a
marriage I would be consulting my lawyer over irreconcilable 
differences. If it were a business partnership, I would be looking to 
sell my stake. If it were a club, then I would not be renewing my 

If undertaking my responsibilities, as an active member of this site is
something that no longer brings any pleasure, then I must think about 
where that leaves me. For all of you wonderful, talented, frustrating 
people out there deserve something better than me going through the 

My ego demands that my work be read and that I get feedback. I doubt
that any of your egos are any different. I need to feel that my work is 
being read and occasionally, I need feedback as concrete evidence of 
that. Nicestories just doesn't do that for me any more. 

So, it looks like I need to go out and find what I need somewhere else. 

Once I find it, I know that I will need to give something back to
whichever site or community I find myself in. In all probability, that 
will mean that I will not have the time to spend here at nicestories. 
For that I am truly, truly sorry. 

Please understand. I need something that this site and its members just
do not give. 

This isn't farewell. You won't suddenly find a void of blank disc space
where once my stories had a home. In fact I will only remove stories if 
they are to be published for profit elsewhere. You will even see me 
post new stories and chapters to my novel. However, I will just not 
have the time to fulfil my responsibilities to the site at the same 
level as in the past. 

Thank you all for sharing your work. You really have given me great
pleasure and something to aspire to. To those of you who read my work 
and give feedback, to you I give very special thanks, for it is you 
that has kept my desire to write as strong as ever. You all hold a very 
special place in my hearts and I will try to keep in contact whenever I 

So there you have it. Tucked away in the new stories section of, is a long and rambling explanation of why poor old 
red1hols is not posting as much as he used to. The reason why you no 
longer receive as many of those strangely phrased critiques that were 
never quite anonymous. Either this site has outgrown the strange old 
Brit, or the strange old Brit has become too big for his boots. 
Whatever it is, things have now moved on. Good Luck to you all. Oh, and 
of course, HAVE FUN! 


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