How Making Enemies Online can Impact Your Reputation



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.

In the past, I’ve done posts on writers that bully each other, form cliques, and now, I’m going to discuss enemies.

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.

    bad 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.

Question: Have you ever gotten into a fight with a fellow writer? If you have, how did you solve the problem?


8 thoughts on “How Making Enemies Online can Impact Your Reputation

  1. Oh, yikes! I so do not like drama. Especially like this. Drama in a story, sure, I’m all for that. But it saddens me that writers can be so destructive toward each other. Especially with a creative endeavor like writing, writers have enough self-doubt and obstacles in their way.
    But, yeah, I’ve had disagreements with writers before. Writing is a very passionate topic for people, so it’s not surprising that disagreements occur. And for so many people, what they write is so personal that even if it is fiction, it contains parts of themselves. Things can easily be taken as a personal attack when it’s really not. Most of my disagreements happen with writers I know in my personal life, so my method is to cool down and get a little perspective before I damage a friendship. Usually, I come to realize the disagreement wasn’t a personal attack or find a way to talk about the topic in a calmer manner at a later date, and other times I realize it’s better to let it go.
    Arguments online have a way of escalating quickly and you don’t have a lot of cues like body language to assist in evaluating someone’s intent. For some people, it’s easy to be confrontational and mean when there’s that distance provided by a computer screen.
    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing your experience with me! Yes, people can take feedback as a personal attack on their writing. I’ve been on both sides before, so I understand how bad the drama can be. So true – fights online are more likely to escalate.

      Thanks so much for commenting and reading my blog post! I hope everything is going well for you 🙂


  2. I really never had. But I got close to it once during my Early days of Wattpad and when I was still learning. The person had called me out (defending another author, and I admit I really was at fault there) and I largely ignored it, although I changed my profile picture and tried to move away from it. Thankfully it did. And I made another comment which was a little misguided and still during the early days of Wattpad and reading and when I was learning to comment on stories. Both of which taught me important lessons. Ignoring is really the best way to solve problems and learning from them instead of getting into heated debates and ruining each other’s reputation. And which caused me to move to encouraging people and avoid the negatives when I feel something is off. And that misguided comment still haunted me years after.


      • That’s good that you were able to move on. And I totally agree about engaging in dead comments. When I used to be on that website and got into tiffs with people in the comments, I would delete my part of the conversation. I didn’t need to deal with attacks from readers years later because of an old comment when both the other writer and I moved on.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d correct you on one thing: “real life” vs “online”. Both are “real life.” We may be talking with anonymous identities, but whether through the internet or via a cup of coffee at your local bean dive, ALL constitute real relationships, whether we want to consider them as such or not.

    As such, I think it prudent to remember this as we cope with our lives and explore the world. Speak to people online as you would in person, because with because with minor exceptions, you’ll always be talking to person, band whether that person constitute a biological organism, or sometime in the future when it may be an artificial intelligence, either way, you should treat them with honor and respect, and the dignity of Life which we all are entitled. Doing so is one of the first precepts of Internet ethics.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I get what you’re saying, but I feel like online, people act differently towards each other. That’s why I said real life vs. online. In real life, it’s easier to talk things out while online, people can just block you and blast you on social media; however, I get that someone in “real life” can do the same thing.

      I’ll consider editing this post later. But yes, I agree, you should always speak to everyone respectfully, whether online or in real life.


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