Ridener Musings: Bullying in the Indie World

First off, my laptop is making  weird noises this morning.  I don’t think it likes being turned on so early.  (Yeah, well, buddy….I don’t like being up this early so deal with it.)

Anyway, since I’m up before the sun, I thought I’d go ahead and get in a quick blog post.  The first thing I was greeted with upon opening facebook was yet another author making an announcement about being bullied by a fellow author.

My first question every time I see this happening is WHY?

Why do authors feel the need to bully other authors?  Why do people find it necessary to belittle someone else in the first place?  Humanity sucks sometimes, let me tell you….but this is getting ridiculous.  We are adults.  We are all reaching for the same stars.  Why would you ever think it’s okay to derail somebody from chasing the same dreams you have?

I get it. I know what you’re thinking.  “Well, bullying is just a part of life.”

Maybe it is in your world, but let me tell you I jumped off the bullying train a LONG time ago!  Oh yes, it’s true.  Like many others, I have had my share of bullying.  I could tell you so many stories.

I could travel back in time to the timid, shy little girl in grade school who got picked on for having funny looking eyebrows, or the fact her parents couldn’t afford to give her nice clothes like the other kids.  Or maybe I could tell you about how they would laugh at her because she couldn’t afford a 25 cent cotton candy on Friday like her classmates.

I could transport you to middle school, where people made up nasty rumors about her and made her life such a living hell that she had to transfer to a new a school and start over.  Heck, it even happened in high school!

Or how about not so long ago…say, circa 2009 or so, when online bullying sank its venomous fangs into her?  Death threats.  Being called a ‘stupid c*nt’ and wishing she would end up dead in a ditch?  Oh yeah….yeah, that happened–and it sucked.
Why are we acting this way?  Why would you ever want to hurt another person intentionally?  Have you no heart?
Also, my lines are suddenly closer together and I have no idea how I did that..bear with me.
-sigh-
It’s not okay to hurt people.
I realize there have been several authors in the last few months who have cried bully to get attention or to get book sales-I am not okay with that, either.  BUT…I do believe there are the few who are genuine in their claims and I will fully support them in their need to call their bullies out.  Heck, if it happened to me…you better believe somebody would be getting blasted to Kingdom Come.  I have a zero tolerance policy on this sort of thing, ya’ll.  Been there, done that.  NEVER. AGAIN.
You should always support your fellow indies.  We are all here for the same purpose; to entertain people and take them into new worlds.  We want them to fall in love with our characters and remember the brilliant journey only we are capable of taking them on-so why fight?
So what if such and such is selling more books than you?  Hell, let me tell you.  There was once a time when I only sold 3 books a month, okay?  You didn’t see me foaming at the mouth or trying to degrade an author because she/he was selling 100 books or more a month.  No! I was so happy for them.  I cheered them on.  I congratulated them and shared their links whereever I could.  That’s what being an indie is all about.
We are the most tight knit community in the world.  Did you know that? I read it in an article.  We are a unique and strong breed, guys.  We shouldn’t be fighting or bullying or anything else.  We should be helping one another.
I would not be where I am today had fellow authors not taken me under their wings.
Oh yes.  That is true.  Aside from the amazing bloggers and readers who quickly showed their support for me, there were a handful of authors who guided me along the way and kept picking me up everytime I fell.
You’re damn right that I’m going to stop and pick someone else up, too.
I’m not saying you have to like everybody around here, okay?  There are a few that I don’t like myself…but you’ll never see me bully them or say a harsh word to them.  Live and let live.  It’s not that hard.  Congratulate a fellow author when they have a new release.  Give a word or two of encouragement if they seem down.   I’m willing to bet there has been a time not so long ago when you were feeling down, and then all it took was that one person….maybe not an author at all…but that one person you needed to hear say, “You’ve got this.  Keep going.  I believe in you.”
This is what all indie authors should say to one another.  Ugh. Like I said, you don’t have to like each other..but damn it, respect each other!
You have to give respect in order to get it…..and there are a few of you that I’m afraid will learn a very bitter lesson if you don’t change your ways now.
The indie author world is big enough for all of us.

 

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2 Comments

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  1. I haven’t heard about this or experienced it, thank goodness, but it seems to me that there is a growing culture of hatred in life in general at the moment. Times are hard for everyone, i understand that, but behaving this way is not the way to make the world a better place. Thanks for your post, by drawing attention to the problem it might just make someone think before they do it themselves.

  2. Well said……..belittling anyone is crude…….as we have been taught, there is a right way and a wrong to say or do anything……..if you can’t say something nice, keep it to yourself; there’s no reason to hurt anyone just for the sake of hurting them!

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