How To Find Your Place In This Community
Author: Darim Pelegro
Essay submitted for raising to Youngling
Citizens often come to TarValon.net wondering how in the world they can possibly help out. I myself took a long journey trying to find my niche in the community, but once I did, I felt very much belonged. It is important to feel like you belong. Often times, members will create clubs and organizations with their friends to do this, but this is not a necessary step to take to fit in. These often simply create confusion and are a hassle to the signature image-makers out there.
I believe it's best to start with figuring out what you're good at. This may seem the most obvious step, but often it's the hardest. I assure you, declaring yourself the high priest of an organization that worships park benches and whose name happens to be an anagram that spells Holland is not what you are good at, however fun. Some are writers, others artists, a few can code web pages or programs. If you have a degree in anything specialized like marketing or law, your services would be greatly appreciated. But any little talent can find a place at TarValon.net.
Secondly, you need to be recognized for your particular skill. Depending on your talent, you will want to go about this differently. For myself, I simply had to start making signatures for people, and even posted a few threads saying that I could do that for them. Writers and artists can post their work in the Creative Endeavors area of the forums.
It is important to remember that there are certain organizations that do exist to help you belong, other than the random clubs that spring up. The Muses' Playground accepts writers all the time, be they writing poetry, short stories, or novels. The Sigforge is a guild of members who display talent at making signature images and web design.
There are also certain portions of the administrated site that you can find a place in. The Tar Valon times accepts comic writers/drawers, reporters, and journalists. The Library is also always looking for new theories and help in organizing every bit of knowledge about the Wheel of Time, and good people to discuss and debate these very same topics in the discussion forums. It's also always to politely ask where one can be helpful. Offer one's services to the Head of an Ajah or the Mistress of the Watch, wherever you think you can be of use.
It is a rewarding experience to find that one's skills are being put to good use. One will find that they belong to the community more than they did before, and will have a greater desire for it to succeed, as they have now invested in it themselves.