I recently had a bit of an odd experience in an author Facebook group, and it got me thinking about the wider writing community. I suppose I have been lucky – this was the first time I’d ever been subjected to online hate, and let me tell you, it wasn’t a picnic in the park! Overall, since I have been in the publishing industry I have found almost everybody to be incredibly supportive and kind, and I just want to emphasise here how important that is as I don’t think I am alone in my unfortunate experience. I think actually this is true of all industries – trolling is not limited to publishing sadly and so the below sort of applies whatever job you’re in!
Writing can be such a lonely pursuit, and it can be a competitive environment, but I am firmly of the belief that there are enough books in the world for everyone. I spoke to a journalist about this yesterday in fact – I think having a large number of books in the world means more readers, increased literacy, and so on and so on, and in my mind that is only ever a good thing. Yes, sometimes writers find it tricky not to compare themselves to others, but at the end of the day, we are all in this together and comparisons are a rabbit hole of anxiety so I really would encourage anyone reading this to try your best to focus only on your own writing, rather than worrying about what others are up to. I’m lucky enough to have a wonderful group of writer friends who support each other through the highs and lows of the process, and it saddens me to learn that there are some places of the internet which are not so supportive. It’s not something I can do anything about I suppose, but as someone who does see it from both sides (editor and author), I know how small the industry is, and I would advise anyone to please just think before they type – for their own best interests, as much as anything! I know there are so many wonderful supportive writers out there – my inbox today is full of them.
If you’re feeling a bit low about any stage of the writing process, I guarantee you that supporting another writer will make you feel better than the opposite. In a slightly bonkers world, we all need to make sure we are kind to others and count our blessings. So if you’re having a bad writing day, here are some little things you could do:
– RT a fellow author’s book
– BUY a fellow author’s book and post a picture on Twitter/ Instagram
– Leave someone a 5 star Amazon review
– Message an author to tell them you liked their novel – these messages always make my day!
– Make a little list of your favourite books and why you like them
– Set yourself a writing goal to achieve by the end of 2018 – you don’t have to tell anyone, but write it down somewhere!
– Pick up a book from one of those free-for-all shelves at train stations, and leave another in it’s place
– Send a book to a friend who is having a rough time
I bet if you do just one of those things you will feel a little bit better – I did! And if you want a boost, try my lovely friend Vicky’s book: Random Acts of Kindness (part 1).
Thank you for reading!
2 thoughts on “On being kind to each other”
Sorry that this happened to you, Phoebe – it’s never fun to be a target online. I love your ideas for feeling more positive though – there is so much support & encouragement in the writing community (and elsewhere online), so it’s always better to choose to focus on that instead of the negative!
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Thank you so much Elle! And I know, there is tons of lovely support out there. xx