One of the more frustrating parts of writing, both online and offline, is dealing with policy changes. These can include site changes and updates, licensing, types of articles accepted, changes in payments, and how articles are formatted. In just the past 6 months, there have been enough policy changes to make me want to scream. I’ve vented in forums, but of course, nothing changes. So how should you deal?
First, really look at the changes. Sometimes they’re not as bad as they first seem. There have been some changes that I hated at first, but now I kind of like them. For instance, Associated Content changed their licensing and how you submit articles. This has made working with them easier. Brighthub, on the other hand, made some changes on what you can submit, which has made me not even bother with them for now.
Second, watch where you vent. Sometimes you’re comments can actually cost you. Some writers are banned, or at the very least ignored, after they’ve made their opinions known. Even if you’re polite about it, sometimes you get black balled because you didn’t agree with the moderators and the forum pets. Try looking at Yahoo Groups or another forum group outside of the main writing website(s). For instance, Demand Studios has a group at Yahoo called DSWriters where you can say anything you want about DS, good or bad, without being punished. It’s worth it sometimes to just complain for a few minutes. It helps me deal with the changes just knowing I’m not the only one that hates it. You can also find ways around the changes sometimes.
Lastly, stick to your guns. If you don’t agree with a change, write elsewhere. I don’t like how the Brighthub system works now. Therefore, I write elsewhere. The new system works for others, but not me. Maybe I will later on, but for now I have other sources of income. Don’t compromise yourself if you don’t want to. With recent changes at Demand Studios, I refuse to put in the extra work. Instead, I’m going to do what I’ve been doing, but just rearrange things to fit the new format. No reason to put in extra work for no extra pay.
The best advice I can give is to be sure you understand the changes and find a calm way to deal with them. Yelling at the site owners will not change anything. Even if the changes scream ignorance, the owners and developers believe they know all and refuse to budge until the changes affect them directly. The best thing to do is let the changes backfire on the owners. Trust me, you’ll see a new batch of updates that will magically make the bad ones disappear. The owners save face and the writers are happy once more.