Writing & Bullying

Hello YA Bookcasers!

I want to talk about something very close to my heart today: writing and bullying. As an author, scriptwriter, Pitch Wars mentor, and editor, there is one thing I see that I am thoroughly against: bullying of both writers and others. I’m making this post so I can reach out to anyone who is being harassed and let them know they have an ally in their corner. If you are being bullied, or know someone who is, please reach out, and I’ll give you any support I can. In the meantime, here are some tips to help you…

Audio version: 

Bullying comes in many forms:

Physical bullying

This includes violence toward you and any of your property or personal items.

Verbal bullying

Verbal bullying includes insults, name calling, intimidation, teasing, or racist/homophobic or other remarks about your diversity.

Social bullying

Social bullying, is also sometimes referred to as covert bullying. It’s designed to harm your social reputation and/or cause humiliation. This includes nasty jokes, humiliation, spreading rumors and lies, encouraging people to exclude you, and more.

Cyber bullying

This type of bullying may come out publicly or covertly. It includes harmful or hurtful emails, posts, texts, videos, or images. It also entails gossip, lies, rumors, people hacking your accounts, and more.

ABSOLUTELY NONE OF THIS IS OKAY

It doesn’t matter what the reason the person attacking you says, it doesn’t matter what diverse background you come from, it doesn’t matter if it’s subtle or outright. It’s not okay, and it’s not something you should be ashamed of. The person bullying is the one who should be ashamed of themselves. You are not the problem. You’re perfectly fine the way you are. All of us are unique, different, special, and there are always people who care. If you think no one in your life cares? Then know I do. I care. And I know a helluva lot of people who’ll have your back if you’re being bullied:

Great resources include:

Stop Bullying

Safe Kids

National Bullying Prevention Society

NSPCC

The Samaritans 

There are a lot more resources, so if you don’t see one that suits you here, ask me and I’ll find it for you. Pinky promise. You can add me on Twitter at @BookOmnivore and DM me, or email me in confidence through my contact form.

Now, let’s talk about writing and bullying. My job is to promote diversity in our world. To lift other people up. That should be every writers job. However, sometimes things get mixed up, and people ask for critiques of their work, or reviews, and then are devastated by the results…and sometimes it’s from bullying, but they’re just not aware of it.

Here’s how to tell if it’s bullying (just a few examples):

  • The reader is making racist/homophobic/misogynistic/etc. remarks about your characters. It’s one thing to critique a character and say how they could perhaps benefit from help. But if your reader is saying things like “it’s gross you have a gay character, or it’s appalling you’d write about someone who’s got a disability”, then that’s bullying and you don’t need these people near your work.
  • The reader is making racist/homophobic/misogynistic/etc. remarks about you as a writer. Not acceptable in any form. Ever. Period.
  • The reader is slagging you off to other writers/readers/people behind your back. That’s bullying.
  • They are bullying you via email, text, DMs, Facebook, or any other medium, belittling you and your writing.

Absolutely none of this is okay. In fact, if you think you’re being bullied and you’re not sure, then talk to someone, as there are many more types of bullying. You can reach out to me, a friend, a parent, a teacher, someone else. But talk. There are a lot more people out there who care than you think.

Oh, and I want to address a question I am sure a lot of you are thinking: “How can you care, you don’t even know me?” I’ll tell you how I can care…because even through my worst times in life, people I didn’t know reached out to me, and helped me through.

So yeah, I care. So do others. Reach out. You will be surprised how many people will support you.

Thanks for listening.

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