No, I'm not talking about the 2008 film with Simon Pegg and Kirsten Dunst; that was How To LOSE Friends And Alienate People- so pardon my having half borrowed the title - and I apologise if you came here under false pretenses if you thought I wanted to talk about the film.
But anyway, the title was apropos to what I wanted to talk about. What's that? Well go and make a coffee, come back and settle in to read this post.....
.... Coffee made? Sitting pretty? Want me to get on with it? OK!
I have been toying with the idea of writing this post for about the last month. Every time I think I should post it, I get the collywobbles (a feeling of apprehension, that is) - so I put the idea to the wayside and forget about it. That is, until an event comes along and makes me realise I want to write the post that much more. What such event would do that? Well, me hearing on the blogvine (yes I know that's not a word) that people are being... how shall I put it politely?... unkind to each other.
I understand that not everybody is going to get along. We all have traits people don't like so much about us. Such as, I talk too much and I am quite snobby. I don't intentionally look down my nose at other people, I am just..well... wary when first getting to know someone new.
Anyway, I admit to not being infallible. Can you?
The fact is, some people in the blogosphere are being all too unkind, rude, slanderous at times and altogether not very nice. There's things that are said, things that are done to spite other people.
I am relatively new to blogging, next month will be my 1 year blogaversary. So I know what it's like to try and claw your way up to be noticed. But what I did to get by and what others are doing are two very different things!
Me? I started off by following Indie Authors on Twitter and asking if they wanted reviews. From there, it built up so that I had a couple of hundred followers and a lot of those were giving me e-copies of their books in exchange for a fair review. That lead to more followers, more reviews written, I asked Harper Collins if I could review for them, Macmillan came after that, then MIRAink, Spencer Hill Press... but that is beside the point. I made my way albeit precariously at first, and now I have people come to me for reviews. I'm not being up myself and saying that I only review books that I am asked to. No, I still go to authors and publishers and ask for books, of course I do. But what I don't do is take part in weekly memes or things that other bloggers do. I even gave up doing the 'In My Mailbox' meme in case people thought I was being big headed or rubbing their nose in things. I don't care about being the best blogger or having the most ARCs or taking part in the most activities or even taking part in everyone else's giveaways. Why? Because I want to sit back and do my own thing at my own pace. I want to read books, write reviews about them and just share the love of good books with others. But I don't want to take part in the race to become number 1 blogger. Why not? Because I know I'll never make it. There's so many other bloggers that are better than me and if there were medals for it, they would outrank me by far. But I understand my place and I am perfectly happy with it.
What has come to my attention recently is that other people out there aren't as laid back as I am. As a matter of fact, they are bitching and back-stabbing their way along not caring whom they trample on in the process. They want to compete to be number 1 and that is all that matters to them.
When I first started my own blog, I didn't realise that some people in the blogging community people could be so vicious. I know that we are all different people with different opinions and that's what makes bloggers so diverse. We can all read the same book and all have a different interpretation of it. That part is fair enough. But what I don't like to see is people who walk all over others. Even others that they were previously friends with will fall by the way side in their attempt to get the elusive golden trophy and status of number 1 blogger (okay so I lied about the trophy, so if you're one of those attempting to get it, let me tell you IT DOESN'T EXIST)
For example, there's this girl, I won't name her but I will tell you her story. Sort of. For this example let's call her Melissa. Because I don't know any blogger called Melissa so she won't think I'm offending her.
So... Melissa has had a blog for a couple of years. She reads and reviews possibly about 3 or 4 books a week, maybe even more than that. She's a fast reader. She's quite the opinionated little madam (I know I am too) - she doesn't read other bloggers reviews in case they influence her review (fair enough - I don't read others reviews until I have read the book, if it's one I want to read) - but anyway, I digress... The one fact that I don't like about Melissa is that she tramples all over people NO MATTER WHAT. She's all about herself. She's jealous as all Hell if you get an ARC of a book before her - yet she swears blind she's not the jealous sort. And if she gets an ARC ahead of you, oh boy do you know about it because she is the kind of person to rub your nose in the fact that you don't have it yet. Or she'll get a signed book from an author and rub your nose in that.
I've got news for you Melissa, I get signed books and swag a lot of the time. I take a picture and upload it to my Twitter or Facebook account because I am happy I got it. NOT because I want to rub your face in it and say look what I have that you don't. That's the difference between us. YOU are vindictive. I am NOT.
So what I am talking about comes down to etiquette. To blogging DO's and DON'Ts. There are no real rules or guidelines for being a blogger. You are all entitled to your own opinion. That's all fine and dandy. But it's when you start to hurt those around you, that's when it's time to take a step back and realise what you are doing. You're treading on another persons toes to make a fool out of them, but it ends up making a fool of you instead.
I have a few DO's and DON'Ts that I'd like to share with you. I think you'll find they make sense.
- Be Kind To Other People
- Treat Authors And Bloggers With Respect
- Think About The Consequences Of Your Actions; is it Newton's third law of motion: For Every Action There Is An Equal And Opposite Reaction - that right there is so dang true!!
- Reach Out To Up & Coming Bloggers; See If You Can Lend A Hand/Give A Little Advice/Help Them Get Started - YOU Were Them Once Upon A Time!!!
- As My Nan Might Say, Treat Others How You Would Like Them To Treat You - That's How You Make Friends!
- Treat Others With Blatant Disrespect
- Tread All Over Other People's Emotions - Emotions Are Like Eggshells, You Should Tread Carefully
- Use Other People To Get You Somewhere Then Ditch Them
- Rub Other People's Noses In Things
- Bitch And Back-Stab; It's Spiteful, It's Unnecessary And Is The Easiest Way To Alienate People!
- ABOVE ALL Don't Be A Cut-Throat Bitch!!
If you, like me, now want to stop reading this post (in my case writing it) - it's okay, I'm coming to a conclusion soon... I promise.
I am just concerned that this blogging community that I got into thinking it was a cool way to meet new people across the world is actually just another place where people use you, abuse you and throw you aside like a used tissue (sorry, couldn't think of a replacement for tissue)! I think it's sad that this is the way of the world. I know that we can't all get along and be peace loving hippies. But if only we could just be a little less cut-throat and competitive...! You know what I mean?
So please, if you are reading this and anything I said rings true, think about what it is you are doing and why you would set out to hurt another person.
Thank you for sticking with my blathering this long. I promise I am signing off now. Just please, give a thought for your fellow blogger, your fellow human being! Thank you!!
I love you all for coming by to read my blog and I probably don't tell you all I appreciate you often enough. So if you don't already know it, I am so very grateful to you all. I wouldn't be anywhere without you. I don't want the elusive golden trophy and I promise not to step on you to further my own gains.