George Harrison’s last words were said to be “Love one another” and that is sometimes very hard to do, especially when people you really cared about, turn out to be anything but someone you want to love.
I’ve been considering sharing this blog for several months, and recently have decided to make these thoughts-my thoughts, known. I’m going to start by saying I will name no names, drop no hints, and spare you every boring detail of this journey, but I will tell you enough to hopefully make you understand.
There are two very big things I want to touch base on, the first what I consider to be the lesser of two evils and somewhat of a precursor into the second.
I’m very tired of seeing artists drag other artists through the mud. Whether it’s based upon the topic they are writing about, the genre, the theme, or the way it is portrayed, you do not have the right, no matter how big or small you are, to publicly call someone out for their art. Art is creation, no matter where it comes from. Art comes from all walks of life, it does not know color, gender, time, or theory. It simply exists, and the minute you start to label art in any way, in my not so humble opinion, you lose the ability to see it. You become blind.
Be good to your fellow artists.
That’s all I’m going to say about that.
Topic two can kind of spin off that theory then…I’m tired of people ripping art apart. And maybe not just art, but rather artists, and to break it down further, writers. New writers, New York Times Bestselling writers, struggling writers who want more than anything to write for a living. Writers who scrape the bottom of the jar to pay for marketing campaigns and thorough editors to get their stories out there and without error, only to have them picked apart by bloggers, or in this case, other writers. Let’s get right into it then. True story time.
A while ago there was this “thing” happening. Someone, a writer, was posing as a reader on Goodreads and reviewing books, some from big names authors, some from indies, and almost all the reviews were disheartening, cruel, or vile. This person only had the desire to rip apart these books to bring their ratings down on Goodreads. Who knows what their exact motives were for, who knows what their plan was, but people talk, and people found out who this person was. I was shocked when I heard. Shocked to think that people could be so cruel to their so called friends.It gutted me a little. I knew this person, maybe not as well as some, but I enough to know I was mad. Disappointed. Angry.
That Goodreads profile eventually went dark, gone, deleted from existence. A few public posts were made on Facebook about the ordeal by targeted writers or friends of targeted writers, some on twitter, and the funniest part about all of this is, that the person who created this profile and tore books apart, “liked” these posts. This person had the nerve to act sympathetic after everything they did. This person who tore apart their FRIENDS work’s of art, who tore apart their hearts, souls, and hours upon hours of words was trying to be a shoulder to lean on, a supporting writer posing as a friend. But that’s guilt. It makes one do crazy things, usually starting with leeching onto the things it’s ruined. And that’s exactly what this person did. Leeched onto those she hurt to make herself look innocent.
Here’s the beauty in this community though, here’s the silver lining. Not one single author who was burned by this ordeal called the “catfish” out. Not one single person put her on blast, tore her apart, or so much as batted an eye. They simply walked off, away from the cruelty of it, and carried on. Those hurt by it, either internally or externally seemed to be there for each other and have each other’s backs. They essentially all leaned on one another and bounced back. They “loved one another” the way so many of us preach about it. They supported each other and kept their heads high. I applaud the community and those involved for that. I applaud you for your humbleness and your kind souls.
So why now? Why am I posting all this now? To some of you, maybe you’ll assume I’m stirring the pot of a cold soup, but that’s not it all. For the longest time, I kept my mouth shut about it because I was afraid I’d piss someone off. Maybe I’d piss off a writer friend or a blogger and lose their friendship. Maybe I’d piss off someone in the community who was a NYT bestseller, or someone who could rip me apart for my opinions on social media and portray me as the bad guy. We’ve all seen that go down. We’ve all seen writers get attacked for sharing their thoughts only to result in a deleted post or tweet. We’ve all heard about PR agents advising against it due to potentially dropping your sales or brand. But I’m not a brand. I am a person with feelings and friends whose feelings were hurt by a cruel human who wanted some attention.
What this writer did was WRONG. Dragging artists through the mud is wrong, and I refuse to do it, which is why I won’t name names, but this isn’t about dragging their art through the mud, this is about standing up for the people who were put on blast by another artist for the sake of Goodreads ratings and a little attention. This is about people who were disrespected, and given low ratings on their books for the soul purpose of having their books drop in the number of stars and their ranking overall. This was done to negatively impact their sales. To make them hurt, if even for a moment when they read the review. This was intentional cruelty by someone most of these people considered a friend.
Some of those who were impacted are my friends.
And I refuse to stand back and be not say anything about it.
Know this; We see you. We know who you are, and that is revenge enough in itself. I feel sorry for you, but not sorry enough to be your shoulder. I’m sure someone will preach to me about forgiveness, but forgiveness can only be granted when someone is sorry for their actions, and I don’t think this person is.
In the words of Tom Petty, don’t come around here no more.
Be good to your friends, and if you don’t want them to be your friends, then leave them alone. Be good to art, whoever creates it, and if you can’t do any of that then at least be good to yourself.
To those of you in this community of writers, bloggers, poets, novelists, etc who restore my faith in humanity everyday, I am beyond grateful for you.