Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Oh, Just That Old Bandwagon Thing

So. I'm guilty. Totally.

We all are at times I'm sure. And this is no indictment of anyone in particular, nor is it an indictment of the genre. I feel it's a sub genre problem more so than an M/M-only problem.

I get that we're a small genre. It comes with the territory that we all know each other pretty well or have like one degree of separation between all of us in M/M (and again, in most any sub genre). It's hard, then, when we feel a friend has been slighted or when we just don't like someone on principal that "bandwagoning" occurs. I really haven't seen it towards me in a long while, nor am I talking about anything in particular. I'm not vaguebooking at all, and I'm not "weighing in" on anything. Just real talking (And I don't mean Anonymous RealTalk like that rude person from GRL).

I've done this in the past. I won't pretend otherwise. You get SO mad at someone you know personally you don't put much thought to just lashing out in unproductive ways. I stopped buying books based on personal opinions of an author because I didn't like a position they held, the way they spoke to someone, or that they were on the outs with a friend—or me. Meanwhile, give it a year and I pick up a couple of their books on rec and I'm like "Wow, those were good." And imagine it, while I was reading, the LAST thing I was thinking of was the author personally. So being humbled by that a couple times, I just ... stopped. I'll give anyone a chance.

I will say, while I'm definitely not perfect, that I have not ever, though, set my readers and friends out on a witch hunt. Never have I sent an e-mail saying "Y'all, I hate so-and-so and I hate everything they write so go sick 'em." I've never even implied it, so if I was a heinous bitch and took a book personally and that's what one assumed was implied, I definitely am here to say that's never been my intention so don't justify your going after someone because I gave a book a bad review. If you know me and you know our opinions match up 9 times out of 10 about a BOOK, then obviously that's why friends read friends reviews so that's not what I'm saying, and by all means just don't read it. But, if that author slighted me, I'd never wish people to go out and slam them with a bunch of uncalled for 1 star reviews, and dammit I'd hope for the same thing in return, even if the author doesn't like me personally or is angry at my review.

Reviews are opinions. Like assholes and elbows, we all got em. And you know what? Sometimes people are touchy and we go off half-cocked and I'm not always proud at how I've handled myself. It's my greatest flaw, sometimes, this mouth of mine.

In a perfect world, there'd be a truce. If your friend gives props to an author you dislike, that doesn't mean your friend is a traitor. If your two favorite authors dislike one another, it has naught to do with you. Grown folks can be dumb, tell us to work it out or shut the fuck up. We're, in essence, co-workers and sometimes co-workers don't get along, as you all well know. We get jealous at times, we sometimes think someone is just too full of themselves. Don't think I've never said to my CLOSE friends "Ugh, this dick..." but I'm proud to say my friends don't then go after that person in return. Usually it's a "I hate that you guys don't get along" moment for them and then... IT'S DONE. And I'm guilty of sitting with other authors and saying the words "I don't like so-and-so", MEANWHILE I know those authors aren't going to change their opinions based on my sour grapes... And I shouldn't have said it anyways. Again, I'm human.

So, while I don't expect everyone to get along and hold hands, I don't expect the miracle of us all being besties—hell, that's just not even human nature—next time you think "Oh fuck this chick, my bestie said she was rude at RT" or "This guy said something my friend thought was sexist", remember even adults are capable of taking shit out of context. She may have been having a bad day and thought her waving "hello" sufficed, he may have caught your friend on a bad day. I know I'VE thought a female author was being horribly misandrist before and when we talked about what she said to someone that they said to me (and wasn't that the biggest flaw in it all "he said that she said that he said...), they both agreed it was misheard, and sounded pretty shitty out of context.

A) Life is too short, B) books are too good, and C) the genre is too small for us to let squabbles and such keep us from enjoying something. I mean, yeah, if someone is running around saying "I hate gays but I write for the money" and "women are too simple to write books" then no... Don't buy their shit. Fuck them. Hard. But for the rest, remember we're human—authors, bloggers, reviewers, readers— and we're sometimes gonna say something or other that pisses at least one person you know off, and if you stop reading every author who does so you'll have nothing to read.

I love this genre. I love my friends, my readers, my confidants, and I wish the best for you all. Hell, even when I see someone I don't care for is selling astronomically well I MAKE myself say aloud—and mean it— "Good for them." Because at the end of it, quality work is quality work and astronomical sales for one may bring readers and new friends for us all. And isn't the bigger picture more important than petty shit?

I'll wind down now. Lord knows I'm no better or worse than some at this and I'm definitely not preaching here. But, I've taken a moment over the last few months to really think on how I may have treated people in the past and how I've been treated. And again, this seriously is a random side note. I didn't see anything in particular that set it off, so much as a conversation I had with someone about how we'd been trying to be more adult in our relations with other authors, etc., lately. Amazing how much DRAMA one avoids that way, so if nothing else there's your best reason to tell yourself to sit the fuck down, sometimes.

<3 you guys. And those I've had beef with, or still do, I respect that you get up every day and work your ass off the same as I to put these stories out and do good things for our readers/friends. This is kinda my mea culpa. I don't expect any of us to change our minds over night. Just thought I'd put a little positivity and acknowledgment of my own hand in a lot of things out there and encouraging everyone to just... Give each other a chance. And, in response I was reminded, our actions do put some people off. I don't want to ever be the person whose harsh words about another stopped someone from going after their dreams because they didn't think they'd be accepted. ‪#‎spreadpositivity‬


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