So, honestly, I can’t believe this is a topic I haven’t done yet! After all the drama I’ve seen online, this is one of the first topics I should’ve written about years ago. However, at least now, I can discuss this with all of you.
Through my journey on various writing websites (basically, almost every writing site on the internet now), I’ve seen writers gain enemies. Of course, making an enemy doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time, sometimes with little effort, and may start as a disagreement between two ideas.
Most of the enemy creation happens after the writers were friends first and their friendship ended in a fallout. Other times, it forms when two writers meet on a thread or forum, and they don’t agree with each other. Regardless of how it happens, it happens, and depending on the individuals involved, it can impact their reputations.
You may be wondering how the writers can hurt each other, especially online. Well, here are the different things I’ve seen:
- Blasting – Depending on how popular or well-known one of the writers is, they may blast the opposing party on social media. Getting blasted can affect the other writer if they have a huge following, an agent, publisher, etc. For example, we see this happen with celebrities all the time. So, be mindful what writer friends you make online and offline. If you have a fallout with a writer, don’t get caught off guard if they blast you on social media.
- Attacking – More often than not, some writers may send their online followers to attack the other writer. When this does happen, sometimes it gets so bad that the writer who was attacked may leave the writing or social media site entirely.
- Reviewing – Some writers will purposely leave bad reviews on the other writer’s stories. Sometimes, they post the bad reviews not only on Amazon but also on Goodreads. Obviously, this can affect a writer’s reputation because potential readers may believe the book is bad because of false reviews.
Many times, I’ve seen this behavior form on toxic writing communities – like the site that shall not be named. I’ll say openly I’m not perfect, and when I was involved in toxic writing communities, this behavior was rampant, on everyone!
Before I end this post, I do what to point out there is a difference when it comes to defending yourself. If a fellow writer is telling lies about you, then yes, you should protect yourself. Don’t let anyone in real life or online bully you. That s*** is not cool and should not be tolerated. I’ve, unfortunately, been on both ends of the spectrum and saw how destructive it is.
My final thought on this is to make your own judgment call if you have a fallout with a fellow writer. Before things escalate, try to talk it out with the person. If that doesn’t work, then at least try to agree with them that you won’t attack or belittle each other on social media. Of course, an agreement shouldn’t be needed, but in today’s world, you need to protect yourself.