It's really that simple. But lately I've been rejecting about two posts a week because they're missing the point a bit. And this makes me sad, because I get excited to read every new post in the queue, and then I'm all disappointed when I realise I can't approve it, especially if we haven't had a new post in a while.
This is already in the rules, but let's clarify over here too, maybe it'll help.
This is a community to give and get advice. The ideal format for a post is for you to explain the situation, then tell us what you want input on exactly. That's really all there is to it, I promise.
I do often let posts through when they don't specify what they want input on in as many words. This is because sometimes it's obvious enough from context. I have no desire to get pernickety with the letter of the law here, and reject posts which people would enjoy reading and answering on a technicality. But often, it's not at all obvious, and all I can see is a ramble that the community won't be able to do anything much with. If your post is just a story without any questions at the end (or if you've just tacked on 'help!' or 'opinions?' to your narrative), you're making it far, far more likely that I won't post it.
In any case, even if you would have squeaked through without it, you will get more useful replies if you're clearer about what you want advice about. And that's ultimately the only reason I reject stuff. I want this community to feel helpful and lively! I don't want posts to get responded to with only 'huh?' or 'well, what do you want us to do about it?' or 'this post is stupid', that's disappointing for everyone involved. We're not the highest traffic advice community out there but we are one of the better ones, and I'd like to keep it that way. So think about your audience as you write your post.
More examples of what this community is not for:
- Letters addressed to people in (or no longer in) your life
- Stream-of-consciousness musings about your life that you want a bigger audience for
- Sexist rants about how all women are only after your money - or any other flamebait
- Anything that's one paragraph long but requires extensive use of the scroll bar - or is particularly difficult to read for any other reason
Good luck! If in doubt, Lurk Moar! If your post gets rejected, do not be sad! You can always tweak and resubmit (although no one ever does this, even when I specifically suggest it to them, so eh).
By the way, if any regulars think I should be doing more quantity over quality then I'm open to hearing it. But seriously, you should see some of the stuff I bounce back.
Edit: an example of a pretty typical rejected post below.
Just one of those nights
All I wanted to do was see him, even if it was just a picture of him and his wonderful life. As I think back he was the only guy I knew that really did love me. The only guy that I know for a fact meant every single word he ever said to me. The only guy that would do anything to see me happy. Unfortunately, living in two different countries did not allow us to continue what we had; well, that and the fact that we were both so young.
I can't help but wonder if he still thinks about me. Or has time erased all traces of me? I wish I knew then what I knew now; that the look in his eyes when he saw me was a look I would not often get. That after 10 years I can't seem to find someone that I know will love nearly as much as he did. That I would forever wonder about what we could and would have been. That, on the nights I felt the loneliest, I would cry myself to sleep just think about the way he looked at him.
But maybe it wasn't the distance and our inexperience that kept us apart, maybe it was fate. Maybe I was suppose to lose him so I would know what it truly felt to be loved and never settle for anything less than the way he use to looked at me.