Members of the freelance writing community have been pointing out I’m a little cranky lately. Everyone is writing to me to ask if something is wrong. The truth is, there’s nothing wrong with me. I’m fine. I’m just a little tired of the great divide in the freelance writing community. You’re either on one side of the fence or another and there’s no in between. As my friend Chris Garrett said to me today, it’s that old “if you’re not for us, you’re against us mentality.” I usually ignore it but today I saw something on Twitter that truly upset me. Some writers were calling an organization names and saying they’re “disgusting” and not acting in the best interests of writers if they’re accepting ads from a content site.
I guess I’m disgusting too.
I wonder, without knowing the organization’s motivation how can anyone trash them? I know plenty of people assume they know why I partner with certain sponsors, but no one ever comes out and asks. Partnerships aren’t always about money. And, really, who determines what is best for writers anyway? How can you be for writers one day and then as soon as you accept a sponsorship you’re not? Why does that change things? Personally, I feel money changes things more for the observer than for the parties involved.
We all have our favorite methods of earning, but does that mean the other guy’s way is the wrong way? Frankly, in this economy why are we discouraging people from working anyway? How nice that we have options and solutions to keep us off the dole.
We all have strong feelings about what we believe to be the best types of opportunities, and those feelings aren’t going to change. To trash writers and organizations who make decisions you don’t approve of isn’t going to sway anyone’s minds in your favor. It will only serve to cause further divide. I’m all for education, I’m all for advancing careers, and I’m all for showing writers how to go for more lucrative opportunities. However, calling people “disgusting” isn’t educating. It isn’t even arguing for your cause. It’s name calling and finger pointing and proves nothing.
If you wish to block or unfollow an individual or organization because you don’t appreciate the way they do business, that’s certainly your prerogative. To trash them on the social networks because you don’t approve of them only causes deeper wounds. That’s not being part of the solution.
Ten years ago, the freelance writing community was kind and helpful. Now, there’s a line drawn in the sand. I honestly don’t get it and I wish we could all get along.
Can’t we all get along?