You’d have to be a hermit not to know what a hot topic bullying is these days. I’ve thought back to my school days often, and realized that being a rather nondescript, heterosexual female growing up in the sixties, I maybe lucked out. I don’t remember even knowing a bully.
That changed a bit when I entered the workforce, and a mild, consentual form of bullying became part and parcel of a paycheck.
Now, as I write mostly romances and mostly in a vacuum, I understand that my isolation is largely a reaction to what I’ll call Romance Bullying. I’m sure it happens in every genre, and probably in every interest niche. I used to visit several blogs, groups, etc. A few were wonderful collegial spots to network and get support. But at some point–each became an incubator for bullies. Those (mostly female) know-it-alls who have something to teach, some axe to grind, some trouble to start. Boil it down to the simplest element, and I’d say it’s insecurity made brave by the electronic distance. Heat-seeking unguided missiles of anger.
When I stopped visiting sites that once interested me, including Dear Author, SBTB, Writer Beware, to avoid the noise that was sucking up my time and energy, I was down to Twitter and Facebook. Not great places to get support and give it.
So it’s struck me that I’ve gone to my corner to write in silence and peace, and that I’m giving up a lot in isolating myself. I think the next step is to find three-dimensional humans, locally. Because while it’s pretty easy to bully in the schoolyard, it would be very hard to look me in the face and push me around. And truth be told, it would be hard for me to do the same back.