Shut Up, Smile and Get off the Drama Llama!


Sometimes I think I’m the only reasonable person left on the internet.  I know, it’s funny because we all know I’m batshit crazy, right?  And yet… When I left fandom (read Twilight) I really thought that would mean the drama quotient in my life would go down.  I mean really, who’s crazier than a group of 30-40 year old women in love with a teenage werewolf!? It couldn’t possibly get worse than the loons I dealt with there.  And yet…

So here’s the thing I don’t understand.  Why is it so hard for folks online to avoid being douches?  It’s not like it’s really tricky.  Let’s see: don’t cheat, don’t talk smack, don’t act like that clique of girls in 6th grade who made my life a living hell.  Is this really too much to ask?  And yet…

I would like to think that a community of online authors would be able to understand this. The code of Indie art (music, theatre, writing, anything) is collaboration NOT competition. Other authors aren’t the enemy.  Their success only speaks GOOD of what you can accomplish.  The enemy is the publishing houses that keep trying to push us out of the markets, the mainstream media who won’t review our work, the published authors who look down on us because somehow they think our success means less than theirs (note, I don’t mean all published authors, just the douches).

I see people cheating just to win contests online.  Do you feel good about yourself?  Do you take pride in that win when you know you don’t deserve it?  Does it mean ANYTHING now?  Whether it’s a $5 gift card or a major writing award if you cheat it means you suck.  Don’t do it.

I see people trying to hurt their fellow authors.  Grouping together to mass 1 star a book by someone they don’t like.  Let me tell you something.  Bullies have never, ever gone on to think “Wow, I feel really great about being an asshole.”  Nope, they look back and either feel regret or they’re the real deal and turn out to be sociopaths.

Don’t like some one?  Shut up.  Smile and move on.  Find people to fill your time and life with who are worth your energy.  Surround yourself with positive support and spread that support around.  This isn’t middle school and your aren’t the Prom Queen.  Grownups talk out their problems and then move on.  They don’t retaliate in petty small ways.  If someone hurts you the best way to respond isn’t to hurt them back. Deal with it head on, say your piece and then get back to writing.

I’m not always perfect, and I’m sure there are folks who will come back and say “But you did X, Y and Z.” Yes there have been times I’ve fallen prey to my pettier instincts.  I’m not perfect.  No one is.  But for the most part I try to be transparent and sincere.  I support my friends and either confront or ignore the bullshit.  What kills me is the back stabbing ridiculousness.

When my  six-year-old gets mad at someone she tells them they can’t come to her dance party.  When people online get mad they unfriend you on facebook and then unfriend your friends who have nothing to do with it, then they talk smack and put time and money and resources into trying to pull you down.  Honestly, I’d rather be friends with a six-year-old.

Who here’s been cyber bullied?  Or Indie-bullied?  I can think of 2 specific instances where I have.  But again, I left fandom to get away from that.  I never expected to find it here.




  1. Pavarti K Tyler

    April 17, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Mooooo – I love you too :)

  2. I see this between genres too. Some authors get on their high-horse and claim they would never read or write THAT. Gasp! One genre isn’t better than another. They’re just different.

    Thanks for writing this, Pav.

    • Pavarti K Tyler

      April 17, 2012 at 2:15 pm

      You only say that because you write erotica and we all know writing erotica takes no talent 😛

      Amelia, you are one of the best out there. Always supportive and positive. Even when you’re down, you radiate such a great energy. One of the MANY reasons I consider myself lucky to know you.

  3. I’ll play nice…until the time comes to “expose hypocrisy” 😛

    That’s when I whack hard (it’s for a good cause — lol!).

  4. Been bullied, and then accused by the bullier of picking on HIM because I’m a louder mouth, and wouldn’t lie down and take the crap he’s spreading around.
    I *tend* to ignore people unless I’ve done something really horrible, and then I apologise. Otherwise, I just move on. it’s not worth it. Life is too short.
    I’ll still call *others* on it if I see them messing around and bullying others but what’s the worst that people can do to me? Bully me some more? I lived with that and through that when in primary/High school – bullies get their power from getting a reaction. It’s in my power not to give them it. I guess that means I win, even if it’s painful to sit through.
    Great post.

    • Pavarti K Tyler

      April 17, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      Thanks Kai. You know in college a friend told me she never worried when we bickered until I smiled. The angrier I got the calmer and happier I seemed. I don’t really get that way about myself anymore, but if I see people being asses to my friends, I just can’t sit by.

  5. Douches are everywhere, especially online. At times, I’ve been one of those douches. Although I do like to think that I had good reasons, I’m sure they were only good to me. Show me where the bullies are, Pav. You know I ain’t afraid to shank a bitch.

    • Pavarti K Tyler

      April 17, 2012 at 2:51 pm

      Candy Cane, I know you’ve always got my back! And right back at’cha. They don’t call me “The Pitbull” over at Novel Publicity for nothing!

  6. Great article! I have yet to been bullied in this circle. Hopefully won’t run into anything so vicious.

    But this needed to be said. :)

  7. Unfortunately, this sort of thing happens in all areas of life. Not just in the realm of authorship/publishing. People are afraid of being “one-upped” and in our society, I swear we’ve been raised to forget cooperation. Instead, cooperation is bypassed for the fleeting pleasure of being “better” and when that pleasure doesn’t sustain, it needs to be done again and again. When really, we should all be clinging to the warm embrace of long-term support and mutual success.

    • Pavarti K Tyler

      April 17, 2012 at 5:41 pm

      Uggh, I know. I don’t understand it at all and it makes me so tired. I don’t have the time or energy for any of it.

  8. I think what you are describing is easily visualized in this Penny Arcade comic from March of 2004

    As for doing something about it, the best and only advice I have is: Don’t Feed The Trolls. Douche attacks you? Ignore. Douche and her friends jump on your friends? Ignore them too. It’s much like middle school thing, tell a moderator, but don’t engage the bully. What they want most of all is attention. So don’t let them have it.

    Hard advice for sure, when my friends get attacked I’m the first one to want to throw a chair, but sometimes the best thing to do really is just ignore them until they go away, if they don’t, go get a mod or admin, and if they don’t help then you know what? There’s another place on the internet that you don’t go back to.

    • Pavarti K Tyler

      April 17, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      Haha, omg, I love it! That’s brilliant. Everyone should totally check out that comic. Unfortunately, you’re completely right. There’s nothing to be done about it. Like I said, deal with it if you need to and move on. Surround yourself with like minded positive people and let things move forward.

  9. Great piece… sharing widely!

  10. I couldn’t agree more with everything you have said! Sadly, no matter what line of work you’re in (and I have been in many!), you will find this happening. The internet just makes it easier for these people.

    For example: I wrote a blog on the labels M/M, Romance, & Erotica just to vent my frustration that another author did not like how I labeled their book on my goodreads shelf. Now, in the blog I didn’t mention the author’s name or the book and it was basically my rant about the labels, the actual definitions, and how society can misuse the labels. Well, the author in question replied to my blog defensively. It took every thing I had not to reply right back but then I realized that they were one of “those people.” They could have easily sent me a personal message saying the same thing but they purposely posted publicly to stir up the bee hive. I wasn’t feeding into that… I just did not reply.

    Time to make your blog viral :o)

    • Pavarti K Tyler

      April 17, 2012 at 5:59 pm

      OMG, I know. I had a job where I was hazed for years. I was finally pushed out after finding an advertisement for my own job on the company website. Oh and I was pregnant at the time too. Aren’t people great? Plus for some reason it’s always women doing this shit to other women…

  11. Ha! Great post. Amen to all that. I don’t write, I read, review and blog about ppl that do. I started for fun, I ended up with loons attacking on sides. The drama out here is unbelievable. Between FB or GR… the drama and the bullying is insane.

    Highschool sucked the first time around. I had know idea I’d be signing up for a second tour when I started my blog.

    • Pavarti K Tyler

      April 17, 2012 at 6:00 pm

      Dude, it isn’t even highschool! It’s more like middle school behavior! I’m glad it hasn’t pushed you away from blogging though. WE need more folks with strong opinions :)

  12. Pavarti, I must be a total noob. My experience with social media? The sites are filled with sweet, hardworking writers, dedicated book reviewers, delightful readers and bibliomaniacs who simply make the art of creating of novel all the more fun. I’m sorry you’ve run across folks who’ve ditched their white gloves and party manners. Let’s not invite them over for tea, ever again. xo

  13. Hmmm, you must have read a comment rant I put up on a friend’s post yesterday! I agree totally. Just when you think you know all about nasties, you find a new source. My own sister blocked me on Facebook because I asked her a questions she didn’t like. My in-laws bullied me at Easter brunch. I was misled online for a year by a crazy woman. Sometimes I think adult life is worse than high school.

    I haven’t had too much opportunity for haters in the writing world yet, but that’s only because I’m a new kid on the block. My blog only has 30 posts, so it will come when I hit the right hot-button. And the two who did criticize were actually pretty nice about it at least. Thanks for confirming I’m not the only one out there going, “Really? Really!?”

    Oh, and I’m 42 and think Jacob is the hottest, although I wouldn’t join a support group. Ha!!!

  14. Right you are. Good advice.

  15. I’m so glad I followed the link to read your blog. You’ve said what I’ve been thinking for a very long time.

  16. I’ve commented on a specific blog for a couple of years now and the person running it is kind of bright and snarky and not above using some colorful language. She has carried on conversations with me outside the blog venue with email. I have gotten a lot of nice feedback and a passel of blog hits. Recently I made a comment about something that happened in my personal life that reflected on my lack of excitement for a very specific event and the language! One person said I must be drunk one person said I spoke shit. She apologized off line for taking it personally and I didn’t reply as it had nothing to do with her and her public remarks were far more negative and unpleasant than the little story I told. It was so out of proportion. I felt attacked, inundated. I tread lightly there now and miss the rapport I had with the blog owner. She used email to contact me about it and I said I was cool with it, that the person affected by my little story was not affected by it the way the wolf pack was. Sometimes you feel like they’re lying in wait.

    In my own blog, once I had someone offer to pray for me and, believe me, it gets rough in there. I think the people that read it, get it.

    How are ya doing?

  17. Elizabeth Guizzetti

    April 17, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    I just wanted to let you know how much I loved this blog post. I write science fiction and comics and it is amazing to me how many people say bad things about one or the other. Good grief. I agree it must be something that crosses all genres.

  18. OMG. I want a pet drama llama now. What do I feed it? Does it need to be walked, or can I just let it graze on the bodies of my victims?

    In all seriousness, I cancelled my subscription to my own town’s print newspaper. I commented on an article on the online version, but this newspaper happens to use Facebook for comments. That meant that every redneck asshole in my town who happens to have (for some reason) friended the newspaper got to see my comment. They were so ugly to me for defending a PASTOR who says that GAY PEOPLE ARE STILL GOD’S CHILDREN. Welcome to Alabama…online.

  19. I’m glad it takes no talent to write erotica since I do that under a pen name. 😉

    Seriously, it’s amazing how jealous and petty some folks can be. I ran into it in a forum environment and was majorly cyber-bullied (this was back a few years).

    Hang in there, you ROCK!

  20. I see it a lot in forums and always try to stand up for the person being bullied, even if I don’t like their genre/point of view/hair. People need to show respect to others and to themselves by not behaving that way. But I guess there’s always been jerks and there always will be.

    Wagging Tales

  21. What an awesome post! I haven’t been cyber bullied as such, but certainly feel a bit as if reviewers are harder on you for being an Indie author and look harder to find any mistakes and then highlight them! Most other authors I have had contact with have been awesome though, so far anyway – I am only a newbie here! I believe in karma and what goes around comes around,so I try to help out other authors by sharing posts and liking pages and books etc. It really isn’t that hard to just “click” and it may help someone out :)

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