Well, I never! Seriously, the last week has been an eye opener. I knew that bullying goes on in all levels of society: celebrities with each other about their weight or that someone purposely revealed too much leg at an event, the Mercedes owners dissing BMW drivers, real vampires making fun of their vegetarian counterparts and the list goes on. As long as robots don’t take over the world, there will always be bullying (unless they start comparing chips and the quality of steel nowadays then everything’s going to go down the drain). What is it that gives people the need to compare and degrade fellow humans?
“… The Stanford Prison Experiment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment) blindly divided a matched group into prisoners and guards. Students became bullies within a few hours; once they were given power and authority. Others became victims as they were stripped of their rights and dignity. This demonstrates one aspect of bullying. That anyone may become a bully or a victim. One common road to bullying is being a victim. It is part of human nature to mimic behavior. People who have themselves been victims are likely, given the chance, to become bullies. In some way, the bully may be retrieving that part of their soul that was lost when they were victims. Given the opportunity to bully another, people often repeat what was done to them. Victims who eventually bully may feel powerful and whole.”-- http://www.realpsychology.com/content/gps-parents-and-teachers/how-are-bullies-created
So it’s basically one’s need to feel important and if there are weaker people around to soak up the bashing, the better. Nice; what kind of world are we bringing our kids into?! Anyway, despite knowing all this, I was rather shocked by my findings in an author’s forum last week (no names shall be mentioned because that would be bullying too although I really wish I could). I would never have thought that bullying would find a foothold in the literary world. Aren’t writers supposed to be above social levels and materialism? Or have I been living in a dream world till now about my chosen path? (The clouds opened up, the heavenly choirs reached the peak of their beauty and then it all crumbled in one big fat author’s chat room!)
So here’s the story (disclaimer of the highest sort--I DON’T SHARE THIS OPINION): Many published authors look down on self-published authors and don’t really want their work associated with such “riff raff”. Well, well! As I’m an author with a publisher by my side, I don’t really have to worry about these better than thou writers. I shouldn’t feel personally affected, but I do! Who gives them the right to decide if someone’s work is good enough without reading it first? A writer is someone who uses the written word to express opinions, emotions and ideas. No one should judge how he or she goes about it and no one should have the right to draw lines in the lit world (unless Shakespeare comes back and tries, then that’s another thing).
I’m probably upset by this because I’m still a minnow in this world of tiger sharks and sperm whales and have no idea how things work. But what happened to the beauty of just writing and living in another world despite the fact that you’re actually scribbling from the back seat of your car cum living room? How did it become a power play of he’s better because he’s got BLAH BLAH doing his marketing for him? Seriously, I’d rather hang out with the cool, indie, self-published authors than the stuck ups who think their better because they’ve got MR BIG publishing their book (and all this for 10% of sales, mind you). I’m probably making myself super unpopular with the leviathans of the publishing industry with this but it’s my diary and I’ll spill if I want to. Writers rule: if there is even one person who wants to read your stuff than you’ve done it!! Don’t let them tell you otherwise.