Lately on facebook there have been several posts, by several different writers of m/m Romance, about being hurt, disillusioned, and otherwise tired of the behind-the-scenes bullshit that happens in the genre. I commented, and added my sympathy and support, because I really do understand. But those posts, and the multitude of comments following them, got me thinking.
See, the past few weeks (months?) I’ve been struggling with a lot of those same feelings. Of course, me being me, I don’t blame the genre or the people involved, I see it as some kind of flaw in myself. But maybe it’s both?
I don’t post a ton to facebook, I’m more reactive there – commenting on other people’s posts. And I’m the same way in the blog-o-sphere, doing more commenting than writing. I do it with my eyes open, though, and I notice a lot of interesting stuff!
- I see authors who are super popular on facebook or run really popular blogs, getting a LOT of 5 star, gushing reviews. I wonder in my lowest moments – are they popular because they write really well, or are they getting favorable reviews because they are popular? The ones I’ve read don’t seem all that fantastic. But it’s all opinion, I guess.
- I see people post really silly status updates or blog posts, and then I see dozens of comments on them. Nice. So nice to see a person with friends, with a network of support. That makes me happy. But then I see other people post kind of serious status updates, or really well thought out blog posts, and get little or no response. Why? Is this whole thing a popularity contest? Am I just now figuring this out?
- I also notice that a lot of the people who are most popular are men, and the ones who get less attention (even if they are better-selling authors with larger friends-lists) are women. I try not to be too paranoid about that. I’m sure it’s a coincidence.
- I see little arguments, disagreements happen sometimes. Understandable. But then I see the people involved get low reviews from bloggers who were on the opposite side of the argument. That is sad.
- Sometimes I reach out to people, if I see them having a tough time, maybe they posted something that really touched me or made me worry about them. I send a PM or an e-mail, and offer a word of support. It is amazing how few of them respond, even to say thank you or acknowledge they got my message. I wonder why people post about their troubles if they don’t want a response? Or do they just not want it from me? Hard to know. I try not to think too much about it.
Long story short: I have been trying to make real connections in a phony world.
But despite the fake-fest, I have actually made some real friends. In the midst of all the back-slapping/back-stabbing I have found a few people who, like me, were too naive to see the game for what it was.
So I guess I will keep doing what I have been doing. I do like going on facebook, and reading blogs. I like the distraction, I like the glimpses into other people’s lives and writing processes. I laugh a lot at jokes and silly pictures, and I enjoy interacting with people.
Maybe I have been disillusioned, and sometimes I am discouraged, but I will not disappear.