I won't say it's helped with writer's block, and I suppose it has caused some distraction, but I like above all the sense that I don't feel so alone. Friends ask me about my writing, and I appreciate their support and interest, but I sound like I'm whining if I complain that agents are slow to get back to me or that, despite mostly liking what I have, I know I have to rewrite two chapters. Forum people have those same hassles, and it's a big help to be reminded of that every time I log in.