I've debated on whether or not to speak up about everything I've seen lately. For those of you who have met me at signings or have talked with me online, you know that I tend to keep to myself. I've always been that way. While I'm goofy and most definitely sarcastic, I'm also very shy.
But sometimes... Sometimes we need to speak up for ourselves and our fellow authors/bloggers/readers.
So, I'm going to say what I need to say and let it go. I truly do not intend to upset anyone, but I can't stay quiet.
When I entered this writing community just over a year ago, I had no idea what I was walking into. I know that makes me naïve, but it is what it is. I made A LOT of author/blogger/readers friends very quickly once Torn and Twisted were released. I didn't know at the time, but everything happening wasn't evident to me quite yet. I was barely on the surface of this world and all I saw were the people who were being kind to me.
Since then, I've seen things that I wish I hadn't. I really really wish I hadn't. I've seen authors ripped apart in reviews just because a reader didn't like a story or because they didn't like the author on a personal level. I've seen authors speaking about other authors behind their backs. I've seen bloggers hating bloggers. I've seen authors hating bloggers. I've seen bloggers hating authors. I've seen some people go completely diva. I considered buying them a diva crown if you want the truth.
What it boils down to is this:
Hate. Bullying. Cruelty.
And then I ask myself, why? WHY are we doing this to each other? Every single one of us are on the same team. We love books, whether it's when we're writing them, reading them, or reviewing them. It's as simple as that.
We. love. books.
So why can't we focus on that and leave each other alone? Why can't we be happy for each other? I just don't get it. I really don't. When I see one of my best friends hit Top 100 on Amazon, or New York Times, or USA Today best sellers list, I congratulate them. When I see authors that I barely know hitting the same milestones, I congratulate them. I don't do it because I'm trying to be best buddies so they'll promote me, I do it because I really am happy for them. Same goes for blogs. I follow a TON of blogs on my personal Facebook page (I'm there, you just don't know it. I'm sneaky like that!) When I see them reach a certain milestone, whether it's 1,000 likes, 10,000 likes, or 8 bazillion likes, I like their status and congratulate them.
We all work SO hard. All of us. I see my reader and blogger friends sharing teasers and links. I SEE how much you care about books. You LOVED a certain book and you want the world to know.
So why can't we be like that with each other?
Personalities will clash. It happens. There isn't a single person on this planet that is liked by everyone. But there is a BIG difference between not liking someone and attacking them.
More importantly, what are we teaching our kids? I have a three-year-old son who came home from daycare one day telling me that one of the other kids was mean to him and told him to stay away because s/he wasn't his friend anymore. Do you think that OTHER three-year-old learned those words on his/her own? Definitely not. S/He overheard those words and used them against my son and other kids in his/her class.
How can we expect things to change if we're teaching the next generation to be cruel? How can we expect them to be better than us if we don't show them how?
What I'm trying to say with this extremely long and boring post is this:
Respect each other. Don't lash out because you're angry or jealous. Be the bigger person. Be a GOOD person. Think before you speak.
We're a family and I think it's time we started acting like one.