My mother is always cooing over new parents, saying that they're so cute... and clueless. While I can't quite empathize with her (and can't seem to write a good intro to this post), I can empathize with thinking that new = cute.
Newbies are, by definition, cute. I see them on websites all the time. No clue what to post, or where to post, and putting things in the wrong sections, and writing in BIG BOLD COLORED LETTERS that are in colors you can't even read because they clash with the background and using text speech and friending everyone that says hi to them, and just in general making so many mistakes and just not realizing it because they're newbies.
Disclaimer: I have been a newbie. I have made these mistakes. I utterly regret them.
But sometimes being a newbie to a particular group is especially amusing.
Let's take a look at some of the most oblivious, clueless, and undeniably cute newbies that I run into.
The New Author
You see them all the time. The cocky teenager who thinks they know exactly what they're doing. The grownup with too much time on their hands. Mostly it's the teenagers who amuse me, however. (yes. I like to make fun of teens. It's a hobby.) Here are some rules as to how to spot the New Author in teenage form.
1. An obsession with their characters. I mean a real obsession. More than a simple, "Hey, Jackie, go away so I can finish my homework" or "Gavin, get the heck away from that cat!" or even just seeing them wandering around their house. I mean, more than having most of their text conversations morph into character lounges. New authors truly are obsessed with their characters. They will text someone simply so that their characters will talk. They'll be surprised when a character informs them about something that happened in their pasts. They'll greet random drop-in characters in books with surprise, wonder, and utter baby-ing.
2. A disregard for planning. New authors have no experience. Therefore, they do not seem to comprehend the amazingness that is called a "plot". They claim that they're most original when they don't have an outline to stick to, and they claim that plots are for losers.
Oddly enough, after they write their first free-form novel, they then tend to say something along the lines of, "You know, maybe next time I'll plan. I don't really like how this one rambles around."
Please note that I have nothing against free-form novels. I think they have their place, and I'd actually like to try writing one eventually. I just believe that you need to have some experience before attempting one.
The New Homeschooler
Oh, I guess I'm a bit biased on this one, having been homeschooled my entire life. But even I know how to answer all the questions that a new homeschool parent will come up with... "But how do you find other homeschoolers?" "What about curriculum?" "What if my kids don't listen to me?" blah blah blah. (For the record: There are a ton of homeschooling groups out there. Some are religious, some are not. There are a number of ways that you can find these groups, I suggest searching the internet. Another good way to find homeschoolers is to go to the library on a school day. Find a couple of kids that look like siblings and chances are you've found a homeschool family., We personally pick and choose what books we learn from, but there are many boxed sets that you can choose from., Well, that'll happen, but generally they'll more or less do what you say.)
I'm not even going to make some rules for finding New Homeschoolers, because you generally find them wherever there happens to be a group of already homeschoolers.
The New Blogger
Again, I'm biased. I've been writing on this blog for four years, and I've definitely been a new blogger myself. (Some of my old posts? Awful!) but now that I've gotten a bit more experienced, I can poke fun at other bloggers without risking someone calling me a hypocrite. (Maybe.)
Here are some ways to find the New Blogger:
1. Posts apologizing for not posting. I don't even mean the occasional "sorry I didn't post, I was on vacation" or "I'm going away for a while". I mean that every single one of their posts will be an apology for not posting. I went through this stage: it's nothing to be sorry about. It's just stinkin' cute is all.
2. Big, bold, colored letters. Just like forum newbies, this generally shows that they're a rather inexperienced blogger. (except in my case... I used the colored letters about a year into my blogging, which means that I have no excuse whatsoever. Shun me.)
3. Annoying self-advertising. This is different than shameless self advertising. Why? Because with shameless self advertising, you generally know what you're doing is pretty dumb. If you see someone shamelessly self advertising online, they'll say something along the lines of: "Go read my blog! (insert blog address here). Shameless self advertising FTW!". Someone who is annoyingly self-advertising will not apologize for what they're doing, but will instead think that they're being sophisticated. This will include pestering you every time they see you to go and follow their blog.
4. Asking you to follow their blog. No self respecting blogger will ever ask you to follow. They will ask you to read, but never to follow. That's just harrassing you. (Besides. We all know that followers don't always read the blogs they follow.)
Of course, now I find myself needing to apologize to anyone I may have offended. Not because I actually mean it, but because it's the nice thing to do and it keeps y'all reading my blog . So, I'm sorry if this offended anyone. I try not to be too offensive. :)
To make my apology sound genuine, let me add:
I myself am a newbie in so many ways. I am a newbie speaking Japanese. I am a newbie on many websites. I'm a newbie at putting on makeup. I am a newbie when it comes to dying hair. I'm a newbie in so many ways it's not even funny.
Which is why I try to poke fun at the things I'm not a newbie in as much as possible. ;)
So, I shall leave you by asking... (Because you as a blogger know that asking a question is the best way to get a comment... *hint hint*[shameless asking for comments FTW]) what are you not a newbie in? And how do you tell the newbies from the oldies? And what about the ancients?
What about Naomi?!
That's a joke from Love Of Chair which is a small part of an old program made in I think the 70's called The Electric Company which was made to teach kids to read. Yes, we have the boxed set. And, yes, I still watch it. :D