Lately I've noticed a disturbing trend while reading various freelance writing blogs. I've watched people act like authorities on subjects they obviously had little to no experience actually doing.
The clues that these blog posts were by posers instead of professionals were there for all to see. The writers showed an obvious lack of knowledge about what they were talking about, the advice was the same as advice I'd read elsewhere (a lot of it here on AFW), and the posts were a sudden departure from the regular advice and nature of the blogs in question.
As a blogger for All Freelance Writing, I may be biased, but this is one of the few freelance writing sites I've visited in which all the information, tips, advice and stories are from the actual experience of the writers who write them. Each of them writes about something they are doing, have done, have tried, or do practice and they aren't just repeating what others have already said--chances are that's the reason you keep coming back for more. They aren't writing posts to win friends or influence people, but to share their experience with the freelance writing community. Some other blogs I'd include on that short list are Anne Wayman's About Freelance Writing, About.com's Freelance Writing blog, Lori Widmer's Words on the Page, and Lorraine Thompson's MarketCopywriter Blog. There are many more I should probably add to this list, but I'm tired and lazy.
Each of these blogs, and many more that are going unlisted, have long, insightful, useful posts. The bloggers who write them don't pretend to have all the answers; they share their mistakes and what they learned from them, give credit where credit is due and don't try to turn their spots into stripes depending on whichever way the wind happens to be blowing.
This kind of writing gives us more value as a "community." Instead of all fighting to be experts, gurus, thought leaders, and figureheads we become a group of people that inspires each other. A group that shares original thoughts and ideas (something that writers in particular should strive for and pride themselves on), interacts and is beautifully honest and open.
I don't know about you, but that sure is something that I would value.