Community Wars

The longer I’m online and involved in the writing community, the more hate and “wars (as I call it)” I see.
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I’m sure by now you’ve heard or read the article on Huffington Post. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laurie-gough/selfpublishing-an-insult-_b_13606682.html) It’s an article written by a published writer who titled it, “Self-publishing: An Insult to the Written Word.
First, I want to make it clear I’m not bashing this woman, at all. She’s gotten enough hate for what she said, but that brings me back to an older post I wrote. The post is about bullying. If you are new to my blog, you can read it here: When Writers Bully Each Other.

Now, yes, bullying. When I first started writing online, I thought bullying only existed in a few writing communities – mostly the ones with lots of teenagers – but I’m starting to see that’s not the case.

In the writing community, there are bullies, and they are everywhere. What the writer of that article did was speak her mind, but at the same time, she kind of bullied self-published writers. Does that mean she deserved the death threats she got and nasty emails? Probably not. After all, freedom is speech is in our Constitution, but she should have known better. Of course, she said she didn’t because she isn’t from America. Either way, the fact remains some of our fellow writers bully each other. After that writer had written the article, she was subjected to numerous blog post and ridicule. So much that people were attacking her rank on Amazon and comparing it to self-published authors.

Writing is already hard enough – we need to deal with editors, beta readers, publishers, agents, reviewers, readers, and now our own fellow writers.

Sometimes, it seems when we take two took steps forward, there is another writer who is acting like:

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Self-publishing may be more accepted today, but I remember meeting one writer online who looked down on self-publishing. She mentioned she wanted to do traditional publishing because it would prove her writing ability. Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally ok with that, but I think as writers, we need to be more supportive of one another. The same writer who said that also looks down on other writers who aren’t as good as her.

In the end, the point of this post is,  if you meet fellow writers you get along with and who support you, appreciate one another. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, but with a good support system, you can get through it.

I feel like there is a war in our writing communities. However, if you find those who care about you, then walk away from the war, improve your craft, and let everyone else do the fighting.

What do you think about the various writing communities? Have you found that group of writers you connect with?

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37 thoughts on “Community Wars

  1. This post is really important to me as someone who hopes to one day be a published author. As well as someone that wishes that the people in this world didn’t work so hard to bring each other down. As human beings we need to band together and lift each other up to make a better world. Great post! Let us all work harder to be a support to those around us.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’m glad you liked my post =)

      I really wish people didn’t bring each other down so much. We’re in 2017, but it still feels like we have years to go. I totally agree! As fellow writers, we need to support one another.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha, “Wars”. That’s a good way of wording it. You’re right, it is like a civil war and it’s really unfortunate. We’re all aspiring writers with the same dream here so we must support our fellow writers not bring each other down. Leave the hating for the haters! Kudos to you, Akaluv for using your voice to speak out on this issue.

    Liked by 3 people

    • It does feel like wars! And thanks!

      Yes! Leave the hating for the haters. Lord knows there are enough haters and trolls. I try my best to support fellow writers :3

      Like

  3. I agree this caused a huge upheaval. Of course, I was on the side of self-publishing, but that is because my unique circumstances led me to that path. I don’t hold any qualms for people going traditional vs self-publishing. I think it’s a route we should be free to choose on our own.

    Liked by 5 people

    • It really did stir the writing community. I’ve never seen one person get so much hate and backlash online. They didn’t just comment on her social profiles, but they also edited her original article and added some comments. I don’t think there is anything wrong with self-publishing. It all depends on the writer.

      People need to do what works for them =)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I do agree that it just doesn’t cut it to hate on a writer. Personally, I think for either publishing methods it just boils down to choice or how the work is. Does it conclude but still leave plot threads open to a sequel? Or does it just leave us hanging with little development but an interesting plot. I think that it just depends on the work and the author themselves to decide. I’m fine with either side really, so I don’t see the hate.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think in the end, it depends on the writer and what the want to do. Hating on someone or knocking a writer down doesn’t do anything. Then again, this is the internet, and there is a lot of haters.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. First, I would like permission to share this post on my blog which was created to build a community of writers and artists together. I realized I needed the community and the interaction to keep me focused and motivated and I’m hoping there are others out here that would like that, too. I believe this article is perfect for The Writer’s Block audience.

    Second, I’m sorry to hear that these types of criticisms exist. It sounds very purist vs very modern. It reminds me of the paper books vs Kindle discussions and debates. My feeling is that its up to the author to decide how they publish. The readers are discerning enough to know good work from bad, and I think we can agree there is some bad writing that is traditionally published just as there is excellent writing that is self published.

    There is the matter of expense and accessibility as well. To self publish is less expensive, at least my research shows that it is. There are also legitimizing factors to the industry that should be respected: Amazon has their own self publishing division. Additionally, eBooks are eco-friendly and take up zero space in someone’s small apartment. The readers themselves are setting the stage for how they want to partake of things. If you can self publish, I say go for it! YOU are what will make the experience worthwhile for the reader regardless of what the critics say about how you got the book in print, or online.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Of course, you can share this article! =) I’m glad that you enjoyed.

      In the end, I think the writer needs to decide what is best for them. I hate the self-published vs. traditional publish debate. Each as their pros and cons, so the writer needs figure out which one they like more.

      Yep! It is about the readers :3 Thanks so much for commenting.

      Like

  6. As you know I’m a hybrid author, and there are pros and cons to both sides of the coin. Believe me, I’ve been through them all. Publishing in the traditional manner is not the whole lunch with a bag of potato chips, I can assure you. But self-publishing isn’t easy-peasy either. They both have published wonderful and beautifully written novels and they both have published “I can’t believe they published this” novels. Again, though, with that, and I’ve always taken this stance, novels are subjective. What one reader loves, another thinks is horrible. Just as with writing styles. An author who one reader thinks has an amazing voice, another reader might think they can’t write to save their lives. So for people to start comparing ranking and reviews is nonsense. Not to mention, genre’s affect those numbers, as there are genres that are more popular than others. I’m not apart of any groups just for this reason, and have seriously taken a step back from main stream social media. I won’t repeat my take on this poor woman as you read what my thought. Lol.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I’ve not come across any bullying yet in the blogging world just yet, nor witnessed any.
    However reviewing the article you posted, I agree, it’s a choice which no one should be belittled. It’s sad to see self publishers being criticised. However by repaying the author of the article with abuse, isn’t helping the matter, it just shows both are bad as each other.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Well said, Akaluv. We can use some pyschology here. The writers who slate self published authors are being highly defensive of their own route into publishing, and if they are defensive they are inwardly insecure and resentful. Since we know full well how much luck is involved in getting a traditional publishing deal and we know full well how much bad literature gets published irregardless, we just cannot justify these attitudes and divides. I recently had feedback from a small publisher telling me my novel has great merit, but they couldn’t take it on right now, but would I please press on with getting it ‘out there’ – My reaction was quietly pleased that they found it worthy, and that would be a good sign for me to push on with self publishing. This is our life, and we can live it and get what we want of it our way. We can’t afford to ‘wait and rot’ while waiting for the ‘right’ feedback, or for a publisher to finally show up.
    As you will have guessed by now, I feel strongly aobut writings groups, online or otherwise. So I go my own way. Thanks for the post, you will be absolutely fine, you’ve got a wise head on your young shoulders.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. When I hear criticism of self-published books, I always think of “The Martian,” by Andy Weir. The book that was turned into a movie, which went on to be nominated for and won a bunch of awards. Not many people know that Andy Weir self-published that book.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I get extremely disappointed whenever I hear how incendiary and rude writers and bloggers become over such a divide. Obviously if anyone takes the time to study both sides of the argument, they will no doubt find pros and cons.

    Fortunately there are supportive and agreeable people out there! Thank you for reminding us of that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It amazes me how divided we get over such little things. And honestly, there is no reason for all the hate. You’re welcome! Thanks so much for reading my blog =)

      Like

  11. I don’t understand why traditional publishing is lauded as the be all, end all approach to getting content into the hands of readers. For every Catch 22, or East of Eden, there is a mass market paperback that was probably churned out by a ghost writer, or a pseudo-intellectual literary novel that’s more concerned with saying, “Look how smart I am!” than with telling a story. It honestly just smacks of petty elitism. If a story is good, who cares how it was published? Some might say, “Well, where ARE the good self-published books?” and the trouble with naming them comes down to promotion, not quality. Sure, traditional publishing has its pros, but so does self-publishing. Thanks for being a calm voice when it would be so easy to get militant and angry.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree with you! There are many options to publish stories now, and traditional publishers and writers need to see that.

      Yeahhh…there is a lot of elite minded people on the internet these days. I hate when some writers view themselves better than others because of sells, reviews, votes, and reads. We are all working towards the same goal, so it’s easier to support one another than hate.

      You’re welcome! I try not get mad at things like this. All last year I dealt with drama from narrow-minded writers, so I try to be the voice of support :3

      Liked by 1 person

      • To be honest, it sounds more like panicky death throes than anything. Oh the traditional publishers will still be around, but their importance will have been diminished, and they’ll no longer be seen as the guardians of quality content. If literature and writing follows the same trend as music, then we’ll probably see stronger content from the independent/small writers than from the traditional ones.
        Agreed. Unfortunately, I don’t think enough people realize that. If we came together and turned our backs on that kind of elitism we could force the industry as a whole to change.
        Well damn, I’m sorry to hear that. It seems to me that people like that are petty, insecure people that are too thin-skinned to deal with any “threat” to their fake superiority. Good for you for keeping your chin up.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m so glad you brought my attention to this article. I knew there was a wedge between the published and self-published but I didn’t realize how deep that wedge was. It’s a shame really. I think she doesn’t understand what writing is all about. It’s about sharing a story, a truth if you will. It’s not about jumping hurdles to see who makes it the furthest. That’s not why I write. You’re absolutely right, people should respect fellow writers. You’re the voice we need during this invisible war.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I read through over 600 of the comments on that post and didn’t see a single death threat. I think “I got death threats” has become so widely misused that I tend to get skeptical the moment someone claims it. Do I agree with her? No. Further, some of the errors of grammar etc she complained about can be found in traditional publishing and in her own article. That said, if there were death threats she should be quiet and turn it over to the police so a proper investigation can be done. If she says anything, it could potentially harm whatever case the police are trying to make.

    As for me, I try to keep my head down and my fingers on the keyboard… of my own novels. Let the readers decide what’s good as I keep doing me. No harm, no foul if the go elsewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Reblogged this on The Writer's Block and commented:
    To me, the debate between self publishing vs traditional publishing houses is akin to debating the Kindle vs the written word in paperback. This post by A. M Bradley created a discussion that I’d like to bring to The Writer’s Block community.

    What are your thoughts on the various publishing options?

    Which do you prefer and why?

    What venue provides you with the most street cred as an accomplished and established author?

    (Post shared with permission from the author)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Why waste time and space on negative comments repeated over and over ad nauseum? Focus on your writing! Move Ahead! MOST readers want to see fresh ideas, new characters, and interesting STORIES. Not the same old complaints about the crap most of us ignore. It’s irrelevant BS. We are writers, so WRITE.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right! That’s how I feel. I got so tired of websites where writers just focus on hurting each other. It’s like, just write, and stop spreading negativity.

      I’m glad we think the same way :3

      Like

  16. Pingback: Mystery Blogger Award | A.M.Bradley

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