Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cliques in the Writing World.



I had a conversation this week with a writer friend that spurred several thoughts. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to post on this topic, because it’s something I could accidentally express the wrong way, but I find the topic interesting. And I wanted your thoughts.


For the most part, I find this writing community amazing. The endless support and gifts of service I see exchanged are heartwarming and inspiring. I really have seen the best of people in this community. But I also see a lot of cliques—groups of people who only associate with each other based on “status” or where one is on the writing journey.

Which is sad.

It’s natural, of course, for people to connect and for friendships to be forged like anywhere outside of the writing world. I too have my tight circle of friends, but I’ve seen quite a bit of segregation as of late. Agented authors only speaking with agented authors. Big 6 authors snubbing anyone who isn’t pubbed by Big 6. People with book deals cutting people out who are “lower” in status because they’re not pubbed yet, etc. And the ways of snobbery are endless—not responding to comments on fb or twitter, ceasing to reciprocate comments on blog posts when it’s clear they’re doing so elsewhere. And most of all, the obvious change of behavior when someone has success.

It’s interesting.

No, I don’t think every published author needs to respond to his or her fans, but I’m talking friendships within the community. I’ve seen friends change because their “status” has changed. Which is silly. Whether someone has reached a certain point on the writing journey or not does not make someone better than you. It does not mean you are any less than they are. But it can still get inside our heads.

Which in turn creates self-doubt. It creates an environment where we can never be content with ourselves if we let other people have this kind of control over us. Where we might not be happy with one form of publishing because we won’t fit into a certain status or fit in with a group of people we want to be a part of. When in actuality, a different path might be what’s better for our happiness and us.

I think some people have this preconceived idea of what success is—and if it doesn’t fit into the mold, then we aren’t successful. And I think this idea is generated from us putting people on pedestals, from thinking that these cliques living in bubbles of “fame” are where/who we should be.

We can’t let our happiness or our writing journey be affected by others. It’s about the writing. It’s about creating something beautiful. Not what is going on around us.

The people I respect the most in this community (And I wish I could drop names!) are the people who respect the art for what it is. They don’t get caught up in what publisher they're with, or drop the name of their publisher every other sentence, or scream about their work and their fans all day long. The people I respect measure their success by being heartfelt and honest, by taking the time to be real and help other authors, and by focusing on what’s most important.


Just because we’re not associating with our colleagues face to face, I still think it’s incredibly important to think about what we type before we type it, or rethink how we might come across before we post something. I know it’s made me think about how I appear in this community, and I know it’s extremely important to be aware that one person can make a difference—that one person choosing to step outside of their clique and friending someone could make or break someone’s writing career.

Any thoughts? Have you seen this kind of segregation? Does it affect you? Or have you learned to ignore it and focus on what is most important?

Red. Head. Out. 

95 comments:

  1. Yes, Morgan, it is evident. I see it, especially in certain genres. It's a touchy subject. Those who do it will deny it. When time is short, we humans tend to gravitate towards those who are most like us.

    It seems there is always a hierarchy, because it benefits those at the top. (Like women who act like men when promoted to the executive level, rather than helping the up and coming women.) They don't want to dilute their 'special status'.

    Perhaps writers see other writers as threats. Less competition means shutting out the riff-raff. It's a great discussion question. . .

    Thanks for broaching this subject, it shows your strength.

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  2. Hey:)

    I've definitely seen a few people change over the nearly three years I've posted, and I agree - it is such a shame.

    For me, if I liked you *then,* I will like you *now.*

    It doesn't make sense why you would change because your status has changed, (for example.)

    God willing, if I am successful in this industry, I know it will be, in large part, because of the real relationships I've forged through time - and *not* any fake friendships I could make because I'm suddenly the hottest thing since sliced bread was introduced to Literary Land.

    Thanks for sharing, Morg:)

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  3. I agree! I've seen cliques at both end. And it is sad.
    It doesn't matter to me how someone is published. I have friends that range from one end to the other. We are all authors. That's all that matters to me.

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  4. Such good points, Morg!!! I agree! As a general rule I've been so impressed with the writing community because even though we're all shooting for the same thing--get an agent (for some), get published (for most/all)--you'd think we're all competing against each other. But we're not! It's a live and let live kind of thing where we help each other and hoo-rah on each other's strengths and successes. It's one thing to have friendships--because certain people naturally gravitate toward certain people, and I love that! It's so great! Because the main focus is friendship, not status. What matters is like you said, we don't let our successes go to our heads (I hope I don't once I finally have some, lol), and that we don't shut people out because they aren't on our same level.

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  5. Huh. Interesting. I didn't notice. I thought this writing gig was by definition a solitary thing, so I didn't really expect cliques to be at work. I wonder if it's more an issue of being really busy (or other forces at work) if people aren't communicating as much (I say naively).

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  6. YESSSS!!!! Thank you, Morgan, for being bold enough to post this topic! I've seen it too! In fact, I've experienced it first hand. Really, they look like total morons! I'd rather be where I am and humble than on the top and a snob. Even if I had a record breaking book, I'd never be too good. Actually, I think I'd be nicer, lol. Glad you put this out in cyberland. :)

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  7. I used to see more agented authors cliques. Hate to say it, now I see a lot of self-published authors cliques, especially those who have achieved any level of success. They don't want anything to do with those who are with traditional publishers. Which is just as sad, as we aren't the enemy.

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  8. I have seen it, though not to the extent you describe. Though life has been crazy lately and I haven't been quite as active in the blogging world. Actually, your post made me feel a little guilty. Sometimes I don't respond to comments that are a little later just because I'm busy and I forget about them. But you're right. It's not okay. I'll try to be better. Anyway.....sorry for the side confession. I find cliques sad because the more we expand our horizon the more we learn and grow. We should all be striving to include everyone, rather than limit ourselves to what is comfortable or convenient.

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  9. The camaraderie is in my mind the most import and of the most benefit to us all. (And one of these days I'll learn to spell camaraderie without relying on spell check, but that's neither here nor there.) I have found myself surprised in the past that some successful authors would follow/friend/circle me.

    A fan base is fleeting. Friendships usually aren't.

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  10. Totally something I've been thinking about. I think the key here is to remember all these thoughts and experiences so that when we have success we can be the opposite and just be totally awesome :)

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah, With Joy)

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  11. Just getting to talk to other writers is a treat for me. Seeing how much we all think alike. I can't see ditching anyone no matter where this path takes me. Still I agree it does happen, hopefully most can see the value of friends from all levels, because just because someone finds success doesn't mean they will keep it.

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  12. Good for you for saying it out loud! Yes, I've seen this. I agree that it's silly - also because things change FAST in this industry. Just because someone isn't published today doesn't mean that they won't be in a year.

    There was someone (not saying names) who I met in person at a conference a long time ago and I felt like we had a connection. I tried everything to keep up that connection - interacting with them on Twitter, on their blog, etc. They never responded to anything. Didn't even tweet back (but I saw them tweeting at others). It was so crazy to me. They only interacted with people who were published or who could get them somewhere or had some kind of connection for them. Now that person is published and I must say, I'm not eager to read their book because I feel like that person lost my respect. In my opinion, people are people, and if you have stuff in common in this crazy industry, it's always nice to find a kindred spirit!

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  13. I hate to be one of "those" commenters who say 'Great Post!', but this -really- was a great post!

    I've seen this to a very small degree and could only, probably, name one or two people fitting the description.

    For the most part, this community is fantastic and the outpouring of help and support has been nothing short of amazing.

    The sentence that really stood out for me was....

    "It’s about the writing. It’s about creating something beautiful. Not what is going on around us."

    Again, great post :)

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  14. I agree, great post.

    It's amazing to see, and I've never really noticed it much before until now; and now, I see it in small actions in a few places. It's true; very true. But the good thing is, the authors that actually care about everyone are the ones that people seem to love the most :) It all balances out in the end (even though it is still infuriating at times).

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  15. When I was in 7th grade, my best friend said to me one day, "I can't be your friend anymore. I like this girl, and you're not preppy enough for me to hang out with."
    It's too bad we don't grow out of that.

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  16. Sad but oh so true. I have felt it and witnessed it. Morgan, if I am ever (or have ever) behaved like a butt-head this way, you have my permission to slap some sense into me and call me out. Seriously. It's a good thing the kind writers seem to outweigh the unkind ones.

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  17. I did notice this happen with one former blog friend, who was published (even if just self-published) and then suddenly stopped leaving comments. But I wondered if it was because she was just super busy all of a sudden. ;)

    Of course there are the great, prolific-in-publishing authors who still take the time to visit, and those are the ones to spend your time on!!

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    1. Now Trisha, I lost track of you all summer because my link was messed up...hope I'm not the bad blogger!

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  18. My experience with the writing community has been overwhelmingly positive, but I think you're right that snobbery does happen. It's too bad when people behave that way, because they're missing out on the chance to build friendships and network with other amazing writers. I feel like it's sort of a pay it forward kind of deal. Other writers helped me when I was just starting out (such as yourself), and now it's my turn to pass on the favour. Where blogging is concerned, I'm finding it harder and harder to keep up though, and I'm always worried people will think I'm turning into one of those people that turns their nose up at others. Sigh. If only there were twice the hours in a day! Great post as usual, Morgan!

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  19. Quite honestly, I only judge a person by how much money they make and whether or not I think they will cut me a check if I kiss butt well enough. And I have my heart set on you Morgan ;)

    Seriously? I have bumped into some I find condescending. I just ignore them and go on my merry way, I left high school behind 25 years ago (gasp!) and I'm not going back.

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    1. Now I'm done with laughing at your first paragraph, I'm sober enough to agree with the second :)

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  20. I think groups with similar interests are great. But I agree that doing it for ego or other selfish reasons is sad. I think you have done a great service discussing this Morgan.

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  21. Ooooh, such a good topic!! I've totally see this happen, to myself, and other (I mean, getting snubbed, not that I do it--I hope I've never done something like this!). It's really interesting what goes on with people sometimes. And it's meant the world to me when people have reached out to me, because honestly, I have a hard time doing that, and without these awesome people I certainly wouldn't have anyone to hang out with (online and in person).

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  22. Wow. You go girl. Hit it where we see it! Very true but I don't try to look at the success rather than the person. But some would rather I see the latter but I refuse. ;)

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  23. this a great and humbling post. Thankfully I haven't had something like this happen to me, but I know that it does. It's sad, and says a lot about the person who cuts others off just because they're supposedly doing better than someone else in the publishing industry.

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  24. I've seen this. A lot of this. I think you have a lot of good points here, but I can also see how sometimes people feel bullied into being part of those clicks. Yes, even as adults, it can be hard to follow your own path when everything you do online is so easily traced. Good post.

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  25. I wrote a really long thingie here, and then deleted it. Bottom line, I think cliques will always be around, and if we let them get under our skin for any reason, we are the ones who suffer. It's best to treat everyone the way you'd like to be treated and let things sort themselves out over time.

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  26. That would be a very sad thing, if it's true that people "change" because their publishing status has changed. I wouldn't know if that's true, but wouldn't be surprised. It's similar to someone being a great person as regular line-staff at a job, to becoming very self-important and domineering once a supervisor. It happens, and I've experienced that, and it is a sad thing as well. Writer’s Mark

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  27. I'm not hyper-aware of such cliquishness personally, but I've probably run into it in the past. I'm not a fan of cliquish behavior in general, and post on very few message boards these days because of all the cliques and dogpiling those places attract, in my experience. My favorite kinds of writers are those who still find time to respond to and interact with fans and friends online and in person. They helped to get you to this place and are helping to keep you successful, so why not show some respect and humility? Should I become famous, I want to emulate my favorite comedian Stan Laurel, who wrote back to almost every fan letter he got till his final illness, kept his phone number in the book and talked to fans who called, and granted tours of his house.

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  28. I admit seeing this as well, and to be honest, it's among my top fears as a writer. You're aware of the craziness that suddenly decided to invade my life (cause we're tight like that), but sometimes I wonder if my need to spend time elsewhere translates to "I don't have time for you" on the social networking scene. Totally irrational, I know, but I'm still here and helping others behind the scenes and whenever I can. Doing this has given me help in return that I didn't expect, but needed. Excellent post, Morg. :)

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  29. I've not encountered this myself, but I don't doubt it exists - I'm probably just very lucky or oblivious. I find it sad that authors who have found success can't support people who are in the position those authors were in just a year/two years ago.

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  30. Morgan - I love you. I could have written this post so many times over, but I kept worrying about it coming across wrong. You put it perfectly. I have seen this kind of clique thing happening, and it's frustrating and upsetting how someone who used to talk to you, suddenly drops you when they score an agent/publisher/whatever.

    I echo what DPK says above, also. I worry about seeming snooty or bored with online life sometimes when I get really busy. Like now when I'm working my arse off writing lol. But I'm still around when people need me. I guess that's something I should make clearer, though. :S <3

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  31. You've written about something that I've noticed for several years. I've seen this online and in person. I like to stick with people who are humble and supportive. This reminds me how I was once unofficially--since much of this is unspoken--to join a clique, but I stayed with my usual writer friends. It might've surprised people, but I am who I am. What's sad is the gossiping and exclusionary tactics I've seen in some circles.

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  32. I had someone unfriend me on several SM networks when she got her book deal. It hurt, but I moved on. I have a lot of great, supportive friends in this community that all offer varying degrees of helpfulness. Some just offer kindness and "rah-rah" kind of support, some read for me, some provide inspiration, and a very select few get an unfiltered look into my neuroses as we power through this trip together.

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  33. I've definitely noticed this kind of thing happening. There are definitely cliques in the community. I don't let it bother me - I'm just grateful to the people who stop by my blog and support me, whoever they are, whether they are published or not.

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  34. I definitely notice this happening too. I do think friends ebb and flow into people's lives. It's rather natural, but I can't see why people would unfriend someone who decides to publish a certain way or is in a different state in their careers. It's rather silly. To me, it doesn't matter how someone publishes, if they're even published at all. :)

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  35. I know when I started blogging there a few authors people told me I must follow becasue they would help me in my writing journey and I ended up getting snubbed by them, but really they were very popular and busy people. I haven't seen a lot of that since, but I know it happens. I'll always being a struggling writer no matter where I'm at in the game, but sometimes I might be too busy to respond to comments which happens. Doesn't mean I don't appreciate them. At the same time, I have to wonder if the subbing authors really think they're higher than everyone else or if they have other stuff going on. But I dunno... I just want to be friends with everyone! :)

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  36. I really haven't. (Of course, if a blogger doesn't bother to repay at least some of my visits, I take them off my list. Except a few big names, whom I don't expect to visit back.) The fact I haven't experienced much of what you describe, though, may be because I'm relatively new to writing fiction and don't have that many contacts.

    What I have seen is authors who get so busy after they publish that they don't have much time to spend on social media other than marketing. *shrugs* It's sad, but it's apparently a fact of indie- and small pub life.

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    1. PS - You did a great job presenting this, btw.
      Tweeted it. :)

      Delete
  37. It's sad.
    But a fact of life.
    Maybe "they" just get soooo busy that there's no time for anything else, let alone blog visits. On the other hand, maybe we are just making excuses for "them".
    Question: Is it so difficult for a highly successful and extremely busy author to make some time to get around... even ONE day of the month? I don't really know.
    Writer In Transit

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  38. So sad, but true. Unfortunately, cliques just seem to be a part of life.

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  39. I was just thinking about this. There are people I know from inkpop and man, people have changed. Some for better, some for worse and it's rough. People I thought were friends are no longer friends, so may even label them selves as foe, and the people I never thought I would even talk to are now friends.

    Guess it's just a part of life.

    Laura
    http://howdygirl.com

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  40. I can't say I've run into this kind of behavior personally, but then again, I haven't been blogging for very long, but I know it exists. On a more positive note, a blogging friend (who just got a book contract), took the time to send me some writing advice and some links to check out. She's very cool and I don't see her changing once she makes it big. (:

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  41. I've seen this happen unfortunately. Not to anyone I was ever super close with, I mostly saw it when I was just starting out and writers were a bit ahead of me in the 'journey'. They finally signed that contract and then that was it. It is a shame because in a big or small way, many people have a hand in our successes. And I think its so cool that some day we might be able to return that favor.

    Great post Morgan!

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  42. Oh yeah. There's definitely this kind of segregation that goes around. It's more or less "classism." You know...people of a higher class not wanting to associate with someone of lower class unless they are pretty or physically attractive. Then it's okay because one wants to "bone" the other. But it's similar to the stuff written in "The Help" only less about discrimination and more about just being mean to scrubs who are perceived to be unworthy of the "Queen of England" mentality.

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  43. I wish I could name-drop all the amazing published authors/repped writers who've been nothing but awesome to me, despite their success! Because I've totally noticed the whole clique thing too, and it makes me even more thankful for those who don't let their success go to their heads. <3

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  44. Very thoughtful and well spoken, Morgan. I went through some weirdness around the time I published my first book but my core of people are still here and that's what counts and it's them I focus on!

    Speaking of which, I was chatting with Jolene a while back and she said we have to be friends... Apparently because we both are/were writers AND dancers means we are Auto-BFF's... ;) I just thought this was a great post to make that announcement LOL

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  45. This post made me think of these wise words: Pride is in the comparison.

    Often we think about the "poor" comparing themselves to the "rich," but just as often the rich are comparing themselves to the poor.

    No matter where we are in our writing journey, either rich with agents and book deals or poor with no substantial worldly accomplishments to date, there is cause to be grateful for where we are and what we have. Comparisons do what you said: create self-doubt and insecurities. And I'd like to add, it makes us ungrateful.

    Let's support one another in writing more great books and inspiring literacy in the world! There's plenty of success to go around.

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  46. Ugh, we're all so tribal aren't we? Do you think that's what's behind the cliques? I've noticed it and then decided to make a conscious effort not to notice it. It's validating to me to read this post and know I'm not the only one!

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  47. Morg, I'm glad you still talk to me, seeing as I haven't even thought about starting my first book, which probably puts me at the very bottom of the totem pole. :)

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  48. I've found the blogosphere of writers suprisingly free of clickes. Individuals can be odd at times, but for the most part I truly value the connections I've made with people online. When people really love reading and writing, only goodness follows:)

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  49. I think for me one part of the problem is people who reach another "level" and suddenly think they know everything, constantly telling me why I'm wrong and that they know better because THEY have an agent or whatever. I deliberately choose to cut those people out of my life. So I guess that makes me an anti-cliquer. :)

    No one gets to success without people supporting them. Those who reach that success should be reaching back to help others.

    Pay it forward.

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  50. I feel as though I've been very lucky when it comes to the writing community. I've met so many wonderful people, and for the most part, I feel accepted. But I think you've hit on something here that totally exists and it's really unfortunate. At times, I feel like I'm not part of an inner sanctum of writers simply because I haven't been published, don't have an agent, whatever. I've seen "we've arrived" attitudes displayed by certain published authors to other writers or published authors with not as many titles under their belt. And then there's the way self-pubbed authors are treated... It's kind of gross, in my opinion. I truly hope I never become this way whatever happens with my writing. Thanks for writing this open and honest post, Morgan.

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  51. What is it about cliques? The are as resilient as cockroaches (no comparison to the clique members and cockroaches intended). It doesn't matter, the location, age, gender, etc., a clique always manages to arrive and survive! Thanks for reminding us to fumigate ourselves and attempt to stay clique free.

    I agree with Lauren, No one gets to success without people supporting them. Those who reach that success should be reaching back to help others.

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  52. I've seen this more based on genre than whether one is published or not. I've gotten the cold shoulder and some guff for being a romance writer. It is sad. I love talking to writers of all genres no matter where they are on their journey. I love to help and learn. The majority of the community is fantastic, and for that, I'm thankful.

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  53. I've seen snobbery done in an intentional way a few times, and I haven't liked it.

    At the same time, I'm guilty of not getting back to everyone and every comment . . . and I don't mean to be snobby or rude or anything like that. Some days, weeks, months, are just kind of crazy or full, and the internet seems like the last place I should be in those moments. Other times, I jump around to bloggers whose posts have made me laugh, or who have inspired me, and then I still don't get to everyone who fall into those categories.
    So . . . when someone doesn't visit me back, I'm not sure if it's intentional or if it's just whatever is going on in their lives.

    However, I have read posts by agented, big six published authors who don't seem to think they need to be polite in their posts to those of us deemed as "hobbyists" - they lose my following at that point - even if their posts are usually good. Thankfully, I've only seen that a few times.

    It's a hard thing to know if someone is being intentional in their visiting habits or not. The type of posts that are written are more of a determiner for me. And then again, I'm guilty of saying "yay my book" so I don't know.

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  54. It is sad and I have seen it! It happens, but we have to be reminded and this is why your post is so needed~ I love that you are being brave and expressing it-well done!

    It is a mountain peak we all hope to reach, but don't want to climb over people kicking and screaming! Ok, most of us don't...but there are those who will do just that-so sad!

    I'm guilty of not responding...it has nothing to do with ego. I haven't been well and I'm still trying to adjust to finding my time to write. It was easy before my hubby retired from the Navy.(I didn't think it was) I would leave my computer up and jump on when I had a chance, or visit five blogs and then go fold clothes, water the garden, etc. Every day is groundhog day now...and I am trying to figure out how to find my sun!

    I am so glad you went there! I think some people may not realize it. We shine for a moment and than we are back under the clouds again. Bloggers are our rainbow in the rain of life! Thanks Morgan for being unique! @>----------

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  55. I hate to tell say it, but you're not talking about just the writing community; you're talking about our society in general. I've been around longer than I want to admit and I've never been in any "community" where people didn't break down into some forms of "us vs. them". And the lines crisscross all over the place. For example, you and I may be "us" in published vs. unpublished but on opposite sides of sci fi vs. romance. It's sad but I fear it's always going to be there.

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  56. Great post, Morgan. I'm always so afraid people will think I'm being a jerk when I don't visit their blog regularly. I'm not on the internet much anymore, not because I'm writing or have an agent or whatever. It's because I have a young family to take care of. I can't even market my book well, or even write much lately. But I've learned that it's okay. My family is more important right now. I just can't do it all. That said, I've noticed how some people act after they've gotten a book deal or whatever. There are blogs I used to follow and don't anymore because that person has changed. It makes me sad. I hope I'm the same person I've always been. Just shy me that would die if I hurt someone's feelings. I have had mine hurt though, and I've seen it happen through all of the blogosphere, whether intentional or not. It sucks. I don't care how anyone is published. I'll support them in whatever direction they go. My bloggy friends are amazing and I wish the best for each and every one of them. :)

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  57. My CP and I have been talking about this a lot, and it frustrates us how clique-y things have become. It's like high school all over again. What I find funny is what has happened on Twitter. I've had bestselling NA authors follow me back, but a lot of self published authors without huge sales haven't. I would have thought it'd be the other way around.

    My friends and I have agreed that if any of us get clique-y because of what's happening to us, the others have permission to whack us on the head. :D

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  58. I've actually seen this. Thankfully, most people are warm and welcoming, no matter where we are on the "ladder."

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  59. There's more than one reason I love the hell out of you but you just gave me another one. This is one of my biggest issues with writing (although I worked with lawyers for a long time and it happens in every professional field). People don't suddenly gain worth because they get a deal. People aren't worth less because they don't have one. People shouldn't be separated by self/traditionally published. People are PEOPLE and ALL people matter.

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  60. Fortunately I have not seen this. I am sorry to hear this sort of thing even exists, but then, some people never grow up.

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  61. I am an unpublished, unknown little blogger so I can't say I run in any other circle. However, as someone pretty early-on in the writing journey I can say how impressed I've been with the attitudes i've seen from published authors. All the ones i've come in contact with have been just as welcoming, warn and friendly as unpublished newbies like me.

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  62. Hi Morgan .. in a lot of ways it's like life - some people live and promote themselves overly much, or aren't interested in others, don't help out ... or pretend to be more than they are ..

    ... others are just normal everyday people - most people here are that way .. love them to pieces ... I can't be everywhere, but I'll be around ...

    Good luck with all things - and by the responses you've had .. it was a good post to write .. cheers Hilary

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  63. I have wanted to write something about this so many times but wasn't sure how people would take it. Like you, I wasn't sure if I was going to present it the right way, but you did it perfectly! And I agree! I see it all over the place. Yeah, I have my fave bloggers but I spread my love as evenly as I can with the time I have. And Morgan, my dear RedHead... you will always be one of my faves by far!! xoxo

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  64. Morgan, I am new to the author and blogging hemisphere and I've heard of this of which you have posted. I am lucky enough to meet such wonderful published and, trying to get published writers.

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  65. Hey, Morg,

    Sadly it's human nature. AND it's in every industry. Coming from fashion, cliques were EVERYTHING. Being seen by the right people ... being invited to THE RIGHT clubs, restaurants, and hideaways. That was one of the MAJOR reasons why I left. It was EXHAUSTING.

    Respect for one another and their creativity is what is should be all about. WHO CARES, who published your work as LONG as it's being read. As you have said it's about the quality of work ... we are all writers. We all have an inner need to express ourselves with words. Such an incredible medium. Words can convey so much when woven properly.

    Frankly, I don't have time for such nonsense as cliques. It is so high school and as adults we should know better. But we all have our lessons to learn and one day these writers in cliques will feel the sting. Because one day they will falter and their so called friends will turn on them. I've seen it time-and-time again. As I had said before ... Sadly it's human nature.

    As long as we have real people, like yourself Morg, who are honest, sincere, gifted, passionate, and above all creative, the world will continue to keep the cliques at bay. They can be poisonous to a community. It is up to us to set positive examples for the future artists to learn from so that they may not be sucked up into a clique and think they are better than others.

    You handled this topic beautifully... I am so proud of you.

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  66. Thought provoking post, Morgan. Since I write primarily nonfiction and publish articles and essays, I've always felt a little out-of-step with other writers in the writing community, but have never felt any malicious or unkind feelings from anyone. However, I don't mind lone-doggin' it in the writing world. I have my own vision and am determined to follow it.

    I appreciate, very much, how kind you are and the sweetness of your heart.

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  67. Morgan:
    Yes, I've noticed it too, but I thought it might just be me. Thanks for writing this post, which has obviously struck a nerve with people. You are the best!

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  68. It's like high school. When someone becomes popular, they forget their friends. It sucks, but it happens. I find solace in my true friends, bloggers, etc.
    You rock for posting this. Maybe it will open some eyes. *hugs*


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  69. Your blog is beautiful! I'm so glad you visited my blog so I could meet you and visit your place!

    This is a great topic, and so cool to see so many people participating in the conversation. I wholeheartedly agree with you. I have seen some clique-ish behavior but am happy to say that 99% of the writers I know are all people I respect and like and think do a good job NOT being vain and self-centered or whatever.

    But I think it's always good to have a little reality check now and then and make sure that we're paying it forward, that we are inclusive more than we are exclusive. :)

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  70. I haven't noticed it, but I've also been sort of absent lately, so maybe that is why? Or maybe I block it. However, either way, this is a great reminder to everyone. It's something to watch for. I doubt anyone plans to behave that way, but they get caught up in everything, maybe. It's sad, though.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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  71. Totally enjoyed reading all the 77 great comments above.

    You hit the nail squarely on the head, I would say :)

    Happy weekend:)

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  72. Great post. Yes, I've seen it. When I do, I do my best to ignore it. It's too high school. Some people never seem to outgrow it.

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  73. I've noticed it...it makes me sad. I usually wonder if it's just because they're incredibly busy. I like to think it is. I like what you said--we really can't let our writing journey be affect by others.

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  74. I guess fame does change people. Makes me not want to be famous.

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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  75. I agree! I've seen cliques in this writing community, but I don't ignore them. I have a tight circle of friends from this community, but I'm still establishing a real relationship with them on Facebook. I've met incredible people in the blogosphere, but I guess I need to be more careful who I hang out with.

    Awesome post, Morg!

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  76. I enjoyed this post--and thank you for exemplifying some of the positive spirit from the writing community by commenting on some of my blog posts! It is nice to meet a fellow Utah author. (I'm another red head, btw. I keep being surprised by the number of red-headed writers in Utah. :))

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  77. Wow this is really sad isn't it? I hadn't really been aware of this. You'd think that writers could all love each other due to the commonality of loving to write.

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  78. A great post, Morgan. Interesting and insightful. Loved reading all the comments too!

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  79. You brought this topic to light in a wonderful and insightful way Morgan. Awareness is something I believe can help combat this. I'd like to think people don't realize they are being snobby and will correct the bad behavior once they realize they are doing it. But I am an eternal optimist. LOL

    I hate any form of prejudice towards others- whether it be in my personal or professional life. On my blog or anywhere else in life it's something I would not participate in or be ok with my any of my friends doing.

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  80. It's definitely something we need to be aware of and avoid in our publishing journeys!

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  81. I certainly cannot brag as I do not havwe a publishee and I have to keep starring over with new blogs and I lose all my followers. Just have to keep pluggong away.

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  82. I think people whose posts get more than 50 comments think they're superior;)

    But seriously, I like to see the best in people, so I will always assume some people just get too busy as they become successful. I'm pretty low on the totem pole, so I can only look up from here!

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  83. I think you can name drop who does this well; writers who support the community at large might appreciate some kudos. :)

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  84. I hope that I don't lose friendships over something that seems so "high school." Writing is not an easy thing and I'll not be exchanging for status equivalent friends if I ever see great success. I like the ones I have and plan on keeping them.

    As a semi-related note, I saw you mentioned in a book I finished reading today. Nyrae Dawn's Facade (and all her books) are like book crack to me. Kudos to any brainstorming contributions you gave.

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  85. I don't have any personal experience of this (I'm too much of an otusider in the writing community to even come across it yet) but it is quite sad to hear about.

    The amount of people who write in some form or another is huge, and you've got to make a cut-off point somewhere, it's just a bit of a shame that some people apparently use status as that cut-off point.

    Think it's part of human nature sadly - there's always going to be some people who are snobs, regardless of the context.

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  86. What I've seen is actually the opposite--people who aren't published yet treating those who get new deals poorly. I think they do this because they assume the author with the new deal will snub them or think they're better than them, before that even has a chance to happen. A lot of friendships breakup over this because of jealousy and that form of "fortune-telling." Sigh. Can't we all just get along? I'm grateful for genuinely sweet people like you, Morgan!

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  87. Very interesting. I haven't seen any of this first hand, but I'm sure it happens. I do think once people get published they get a lot busier, and sometimes that may account for their lack of response on social media, too. It's so hard to know.

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  88. I've been really lucky because I have not seen this but I'm not at all surprised that it exists. Well that's not true--I have seen authors who were friendly pre-publication then not associate with each other post-publication just because they don't write in the same genre. But mostly, I've had great experiences across genres with writers from all stages in the process. I've made some very real and wonderful connections, and actually the people who write in different genres than me have a lot to teach me so I find it very interesting to continue to keep in contact with them. Also, we're all headed in the same direction. There's simply no reason for the snobbery. This business is hard enough.

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