I received the latest ALA Trader the other day and they are asking for articles on Fancy type Livebearers for the bulletin. Once again I'm going to ask that someone submit something. It's not right that the same handfull of members are always submitting articles.There are a lot of knowledgable new and not so new members who never submit anything.
So who can we expect to see articles from???? Again, if you're wanting to know why I'm asking and not submitting, look at the back issues back to the 1980's. I'm now joining the arm chair hobbyist who read, but don't submit, but it's not like I've never submitted anything!
I think in many cases it's a bit intimidating. We have lots of advanced hobbyists in the club. Personally, I find it difficult to know if I should write an advanced article with all of the technical terminology, etc., or if I should keep it simple. On one hand, I don't want to overwhelm beginners, but I also don't want to bore the advanced members. So finally I just found a middle ground that I was comfortable with.
You don't have to be an expert - nobody really is because the game is always changing. Sometimes the eye of the inexperienced will see things that the experienced miss. If there's nothing new, we can still enjoy sharing your experience.
It doesn't matter if someone thinks you're wrong - even the most learned disagree all the time. Don't worry about the editors either. I've had my articles changed and our guest editor was very nice about it, even asking if I minded. She was also right and I was happy to have her input.
I don't want to make anyone angry, but why is this the only subject that makes everyone suddenly "MUTE"??? When I was new in the ALA a pen-pal ALA member asked me why I hadn't written any articles for the bulletin and the next issue had a small article by me along with some drawings.
Platymef, few of us actually have your experiences breeding the fancier fish. My own breeding experiences are simply limited to the care of wild type species, as easy to keep as pet shop livebearers. In my own case, I could simply list the wild type species that I keep and the general lack of special care that they require but where would be the appeal for that kind of article? I am not intentionally mute on the subject and would be willing to put forth my own experiences with wild type livebearers, but I find little interest in telling people that wild types are no more trouble to keep than pet shop varieties. I try very hard to find anything of interest in my keeping of wilds but a water change once a month with regular feeding and ignoring the genetics involved is not a very informative or exciting article for something like our regular publications. The most interesting factors of keeping wild type livebearers is not about the fish themselves but maybe about my reasons for being interested in preserving rare and endangered species of fish. Trying to express my own thoughts on the subject might possibly, or not, lend a bit of interest but most livebearer keepers are more likely to find the information someone like you could provide to be interesting. After all, breeding to develop a new strain or even a variation on an existing strain is far more interesting than an article saying, do regular water changes and feed the fish well and your wilds will prosper. Those of us who keep fish for species preservation have very little to contribute except our dedication to preserving less popular fish.
Platymef, We go mute when you confront us with this subject for the exact same reason that we don't write articles for the Livebearer and the Trader. We don't even write articles for our local clubs' publications. The reason we don't is because we aren't really very interested in keeping fish and subconsciously, we know this to be true.
Writing an article is not difficult, but there is a presumption that the author has taken the time to experience and reflect on the subject matter and is presenting the reader with a condensed summary of the important and interesting points. It was not difficult for you to write your first article because you were genuinely interested in what you were doing and observing. You had a wealth of experience to use as source material for an article.
We participate in forums and impress our friends at our local club meetings by viscerally reacting to whatever is said and saying the first thing that pops in our head. We really don't think or reflect before we speak or respond to a forum post. The subject matter isn't really important to us. In truth, it doesn't even really interest us very much. But we do want people like you to think we are fascinated by the same things that fascinate you.
Of the eighteen people that will read this post, I'm guessing that sixteen will be offended by my presumptuous and condescending tone. I look forward to reading your articles. I will be thrilled to publicly apologize and acknowledge my error.
Question: Hey Joel, how long did you think and reflect before posting this comment? Isn't this sort of like the pot calling the kettle black? How many articles have you written?
Answer: Zero (same as you). I admit it. I'm a total hypocrite. I'm President of that club. Will you admit you're a member in good standing? Or do you just want to argue with me and tell me I'm wrong?
This is the last thing that I'm going to say. "The bulletin and the trader would be a lot better if the (I think I heard nearly 400 ALA members) would get off of their hands and submit something, ANYTHING!"