(Thanks Roselle Kaes for the awesome portrait!)
If you’ve read this blog long enough, you know I’m a voracious defender of writers. I’ve dedicated a lot of time to putting positive thoughts and feelings out into the social media stratosphere. And while some have called me a “Pollyanna” (yep, that term ages me) about the writing community, I refuse to change who I am and what I believe about my fellow writers.
So here’s the honest truth, I was REALLY, REALLY mad last week regarding a dominant thread on Twitter. While many saw it as funny, I saw it as a huge bash to many writers’ work.
Writing is hard. Many of us toil for years on a single novel. We craft sentences over and over until they sound just right. We agonize over themes and dialogue, wanting to be true to our characters. I would guess this is no different for authors who have penned bestsellers and done amazing things to shine a bright light on certain categories and genres, particularly Young Adult. So to call them out. Make fun of their work. That’s not okay with me. It doesn’t make me laugh, and it doesn’t make me think we’re doing the writing community any favors.
With all of this in mind, I wanted to reshare a post I wrote a while back. It details how I feel about the writing community and why we should lift each other up instead of tear one another down…
It takes a lot of effort to be cruel. To rev-up that anger inside and then spew it out all over the internet. Boy, I’m exhausted reading it all, aren’t you?
If you’re wondering what I’m referring to, I’ll only allude to the fact that in the last several weeks two writers have taken to the internet to say some pretty unkind things to their fellow authors. I’m not giving links or mentioning names. As a former PR manager, I know these people think any publicity is good publicity, and I’m not going to be a cog in that wheel.
Here’s my point: STOP with the madness. Let’s support our fellow authors. Their success does not in any way take away anyone else’s glory. In my opinion, we should be creating a positive community where we all join together and buoy each other’s successes. Shout about amazing sales and awards from the rooftops. By doing this, we create a community where authors feel welcome and supported.
It’s hard to be a creative type. We spend lots of time alone – outlining, plotting, writing, revising. On top of that, it takes a massive amount of courage to then share that art with the world. Why as a fellow author would you add to that anxiety by being unkind? I simply don’t get it.
I’m just one small author. I’m not sure I can make a difference, but today I’m taking a stand to support my fellow writers. I hope you will join me in a year-long effort to stay positive. All my tweets, blog comments, interviews, and guest posts will have an encouraging bent. I will take every chance I have to lift up those who are down from rejection, and promote those who have a cover reveal, book birthday or hopefully, hit the NYT Bestsellers list.
It’s almost cliché now to remind people what a small community publishing is – but it’s true. There are always going to be those who want to belittle someone else’s work, but I hope those people stay in the minority. If we as authors make an effort to drown out the negativity with our praise, I believe the writing community will become an even stronger place.