Adding Insult to Injury

I want to talk a bit about a kerfluffle happening in the writing community at the moment. Kerfluffles happen repeatedly among writers and given that authors love to write, the scuffles sometimes are glorious and oh so lengthy. I have no interest in going into this particular controversy as it’s being dealt with in the appropriate arenas and tomorrow will bring a different controversy, but I do want to say this.

I saw someone who I will not name attack someone else who I am acquainted with. It was a nasty attack, completely unnecessary, and false. Given that I know the attackee, I know some of the social circles that person inhabits, and I know that the attacker has potentially alienated many people active and respected in writing/editing circles, maybe beyond redemption and probably without even realizing they have done so. Some of these people are also huge supporters of new writers.

If you want a career, ANY CAREER, networking is a huge component of growing that career. Attacking and insulting people is not a way to get people to want to work with you. You never know who is friends with whom and who just decided they’d never do you a favor or even just want to hang out with you, because they think you are not a nice person.

Social media is seductive. I get it. I think most of us have gone too far and said things we regret. I certainly have. But there’s freedom of speech, not freedom from consequences. I’m not advocating silence on important issues, but it’s possible to work through problems without throwing personal attack grenades.

In the end, most of us are just trying our best to get through the day. Perhaps take a deep breath and hit that delete key instead of throwing out an insult for everyone to read. Not only might it help your career, it might just make the world a tiny bit kinder.

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