The Scales Are Finely Balanced …

Hi All

Riddle me this; does it take a certain kind of person to succeed in this virtual world? I ask this question because I am thinking that it does. What kind of person? Well, obviously not my kind. And before you start to laugh and point the finger of failure at me, that isn’t quite what I mean.

I haven’t failed. I have, in fact,  succeeded. In am in various groups. I am the admin in two of these groups. I have almost 3,000 Twitter followers and excuse me, but I really can’t be bothered to go and check out the Facebook figures right now but they, too, are healthy. So to all extents and purposes I consider  I have  succeeded in doing what I intended to do in the eight months that I have been ‘doing’ this virtual stuff.

During this time I am pretty sure that I have worked my way up many people’s noses, as they most certainly have mine. You see, I am highly principled soul by nature and when I see some of the actions by others it sends me into orbit.

A good writer friend of mine has recently pulled the plug on Facebook and Twitter, telling me that her time is better spent elsewhere and that she got sick and tired of having to ingratiate herself to others because it was expected. You scratch my back  and I’ll scratch yours attitude. You say my book is the next blockbuster and I’ll say that yours is the new J.K.Rowling clone.

And what about those who don’t need you to scratch their backs because they have found a big stick and can quite happily scratch their own, thank you very much. These people are more than happy to flaunt their successes. ‘I have done this.’ And ‘I have and done that,’ And ‘Oh sweet Jesus, look at me, aren’t I just the bees knees?’ NO, sunbeam, you are not the bees knees, not in my estimation. In my estimation you are a pratt!

Sorry. No I’m not. Why should I be?

These people have a very different viewpoint to the majority of us. Well they must have because they spend so much time with their heads up their own butts. My dear mum, who passed away fourteen years ago this month, used to say, ‘Gail, self praise is no praise.’ This wasn’t a mantra that I grew up with implanted in my brain until I believed it. In fact, when mum first said these words I didn’t have the slightest inkling what she was talking about … but now, dear mum, I do. And she was right. Self praise is, in fact, no praise.

I have another friend who is seriously thinking of ‘pulling the plug.’ She fell so deeply into the pool of virtual crap that she is lucky to be struggling out with her life and senses still intact. Sensitive, good-hearted souls have it hard in this world. Upset some unbalanced individual and there you go …a one star review on a piece of super writing. There in black and white to influence the easily influenced. And can we fight back. No.

So, it appears that dear friends are falling like flies. And now I have to admit that I am seriously questioning the ‘values’ of all of this. Frankly, I don’t think it sells books. I think it fills time. I think it makes lovely friends here and there. I think it makes jealous enemies. I think the whole thing, for me, needs reviewing? As dear old Fagin sang, ‘I am reviewing the situation …’

They say that it takes all kinds to make a world and I accept this and in fact agree. So I guess it follows that it takes all kinds to make social networks and virtual worlds? But it is beginning to annoy my finely balanced scales. One more dollop of virtual crap landing on one side of them and they will tip and I shall never regain the balance.

Unfortunately – for you, my dearest, dearest of friends and lovely people – this will be the last place that I exit. Why? Because I love you all. How could I not? You support me. Laugh with me. Cry with me. Rant with me. (Take Richards side over mine!) Etc. Etc.

And before I go I would just like to tell you how many paperback Mulligan’s I have sold … AS IF!!!!


Take care my lovelies x


PS And NO it isn’t you Jaspreet!!! Or any of my other friends. OK? Good!


16 thoughts on “The Scales Are Finely Balanced …

  1. Great blog – totally agree with you. I can’t stand to hear about cyberspace bullies and negative reviewers that don’t have anything constructive to say. Not to mention colleagues’ teenagers being harrassed on facebook etc – what is the world coming to?!
    You’re an amazing person and a talented author, so don’t let any one drag you down, or tell you otherwise.
    It’s taken me some years to become thick-skinned, and i regret not being a bit tougher in my younger years! But, better late than never… x


    • Been there, done that, been shat on! I think happiness is what you find when you are comfortable with yourself and all the worlds riches couldn’t make you happier than you are with what you’ve got. Social networking has some very serious side effects and is contraindicated for some individuals.


    • Thank you Mz Robinson … all together now, sing up! …’we are reviewing the situation …’ ‘You’ve gotta pick a pocket or twooooo, you’ve gotta pick a pocket or …. ‘ Opps, wrong song! x


  2. Great blog again Gail. I have made many truly wonderful friends through the virtual world and fortunately have not had to deal with very much negativity. I will be continuing with my fb lifestyle as it is a lifeline to my isolation. I do totally see where you and many others are coming from though, I think I have just been lucky to escape notice by the bullies.
    Keep your blog going hun, we all luv ya.


  3. Yes, it takes up an awful lot of time, you do just one thing, then another, meanwhile your other work backs up and you worry. I think writers like it because writing is a lonely activity, so it;s instinct to try and team up. But the bulllies? Haven;t come across any so far. Mostly nice generous people who help you as much as they can – so far anyway. I;ve got one horrid review that’s gone right up to the top on, juxtaposed with 17, 5*s, yet the nasty one is the first one anyone sees. I read a blog a while ago, where a girl said she was harassed online, sexual suggestions and so on. By some coward who didn;t even give his name. Dreadful


    • As I said, Geoffrey, there are some dreadful people around in the real world so why would the virtual world be any different? But I know so many lovely people, that they simply outweigh the
      morons. x


  4. Ugh – I’m so sorry to hear you and your friends have encountered such ugliness in the writing community online. Not cool. I’ll never understand why people would choose to be mean/jealous/whatever, when if we could just support each other (because we WANT to, not because it’s expected), the indie community could become a true force to be reckoned with.

    Anyway, I hope you find a good balance in your online life and productivity! *hugs*


  5. Perhaps eight months is not long enough. I have been in the books industry since 1985, and I too am on a learning curve. After literally hundreds of stories, articles, poems, columns, reviews, blogs, and features published in commercial, corporate and academic fields, and a dozen or so books, including three successful novels, I think I have an informed view of what USED TO be an industry.

    To fully “get” the attitudes, perceptions and behaviours, one must spend at at least two years on the other side of the desk, perhaps. One must understand the difference between networking, marketing, and promotions – miss that, and you are really at sea.

    Since the market was blown apart mid-2010, a number of newbie writers have thrown their arms up in disgust. It’s because they don’t get it, it’s because they equate “friending” with “popularity” and “sales”; and also because the law of averages demands that some give up. It’s also because one must understand that “if you truly want to succeed, you have to give up the fantasies of becoming an overnight success.” That quote is from this blog:

    Anything under 36 months is “overnight”. Most novels (mine included) take at least 18 months to gather momentum. Promoting them to the right market is anything but easy. Understanding that demanding attention from the online world means attention from everyone, even the nuts, even the back-stabbers, even the ones so up themselves they can peep out of their own nostrils, is crucial.

    Aim at everyone, and you hit no one but those who make YOU a target. That’s the first lesson you learn and file away. Then you take up your tools again and chalk all your disappointments up as lessons. The bored, the lonely, and the ignorant will see you first – duh. Then you will be seen by the half-cooked amateurs. Then really interested readers will find you. And finally, the penny will drop with those who steer away from the crowded venues, but who find you anyway, because you surface as being an excellent, professional author who takes things on the chin and produces some really brilliant material about what matters in the human condition we all share.


  6. Totally agree. The virtual world is exactly that…virtual. What ever happened to going outside and enjoying the day and meeting REAL people? Now they dream up all kinds of ways to replace the human with something robotic. You can see it in the kids growing up spending all of their time on the gaming industry, with tremendous social implications. It is all about power and money. One example, we went out to see the Panstarrs comet night before last and as we were looking up in the sky, we think we say a drone…silent and quickly moving along the horizon. I think it is worse than 1984, George Orwells book. Something is wrong everywhere and is magnified by the introduction of computers. We need to take a couple of steps back and enjoy life. For the time spent on social media…is it worth it? You can spend hours and hours on it, and then when you look up you have lost the day AND the time to write…which is what it is all about!! Thanks for being you and enjoy your friendship and your friends here 🙂


  7. Thank you Patrick. I have to agree with everything you say and I feel sorry for the majority of today’s children. They either sit in front of a TV, computer or gaming screen, instead of getting out and mixing with the real world. And as you say what will be the social implications? Frankly, I dread to think x


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