When I wrote my blog post, calling out the writing community on twitter. I never expected it to be read as much as it has been. The hits its gotten daily (not sure if everyone is reading the whole thing… but most seem to be by responses) are in the hundreds and the hits continue to grow every day.
I’d just reached a point where my pain at seeing what writers were doing to other writers overwhelmed my fear of speaking out.
Since that post when live… the outpouring of thanks and support I’ve received publicly and privately has absolutely floored me. I’m humbled, and so, so grateful. I physically shook for hours after publishing that, waiting for what I felt were the inevitable attacks.
You aren’t alone.
I’m not alone in feeling this way.
Our community has been reduced, it’s now on the skids. Last night, I read another writers words about her fear that ‘if she gets it wrong’ she’ll suffer twitter backlash and end up suicidal again. She fears that, even though she does her due diligence, because she’s not as marginalized as some of her characters, (she is marginalized) she’ll be taken to task for it.
The number of writers who have said to me privately that they’re right on the verge of leaving writer twitter because of all the ugliness that’s gone down in the past few months is also staggering.
Twitter is one of the best places I’ve ever been for writing. The community, the contests, the amount of information is unparalleled. Lately, so has been the hatred and feather picking.
I get it. I really do, under the skin, how we marginalized folks feel. How much pain we experience from micro-aggressions every day. I don’t even experience the PoC issues because I DO pass. I experience a lot of my own though. Ableist, sexist, sizeist, Neurotypicalist, cishet and more.
Sometimes, I too get so fed up and just want to lash out because of the combined toll these micro-aggressions take daily. This is where I’m lucky to be Aspie. My emotions often do feel a little more distant, by that, I mean they don’t usually control me. There’s always a little ‘person of reason/logic’ in the forefront of my mind. That little thought that says… “Wait. I know that hurt, but do you really want to hurt someone else because you’re hurting?”
I know that’s what’s happening in many of the demographics I’ve seen people lashing out in. I feel it. I know.
I’d still implore you all, my marginalized writers, to step back away from your keyboards when you’re hurting, apply self care and don’t lash out.
Speak your pain, yes. We HAVE TO speak our pain, or there will never be change. But don’t lay into another writer in a negative way. It ruins writer twitter for us all. If you have a large following, influence, don’t feed people to your followers feeling, maybe, that it’s just an object lesson in what not to do. I don’t want to see what is such a wonderful community (even with its flaws, it IS wonderful) go away because we didn’t take the time to step away until we could share our pain in a constructive way.
If we don’t, each and every one of us, start behaving better. All those people (of every demographic imaginable, many are marginalized themselves) who said they’re on the verge of leaving twitter… they’ll go. And this platform that can be SO useful in helping others understand our pain will be gone.
Because of a few, noisy, bullying voices and the mob mentality that supports them.
Twitter can be great, educational, and supportive. Or it can remain toxic. It’s our choice.