Today I heard that an artist I follow on Facebook is packing up shop and leaving. She doesn’t draw or paint anymore. Then in the comments a writer said that she had done the same, but with her writing.
Troll, I thought. I mean we all get them. I have had one. A twitter troll, not a rare beast but one that can take you by surprise.
Except this wasn’t about trolls. This was about peers. In both cases another artist and writer had argued with them and made them lose enjoyment about their creativity.
Don’t listen, I can hear you cry.
But it isn’t that easy. You see a troll is an annoying anonymous person who wants to get a rise out of you, but a peer arguing is more damaging.
You know them. I have support from my family but for me it would be like one of them turning to me and saying I wouldn’t make it. It would hurt. Not just mentally but deep down in the part I have faith in myself. That bit that says I will succeed no matter what.
It hurts worse if you know this person.
It hurts worse if you trust them.
And that is the problem. These ladies are not talking about brief attacks, they have had a sustained and focused attack from someone they liked, if not admired. It’s like talking to your idol and then them ringing around others and saying you were untrustworthy… (Something else that has happened to someone I know, but in photography this time.)
I have had it on a stall. Another artist screaming (and I do mean screaming) that she couldn’t be next to me under any circumstances.
People we look up to, if briefly…
You know what that is?
I hate bullying.
It hurts. So today I have lost a tiny peice of faith in the world. Because I had hoped that bullying was something we could work to get rid of. And if you are someone who is being bullied, don’t let it get worse. If you live in the UK then get to the doctors. Did you know there is a counselling initiative to cope with bullying? Be it at home, on social media or at work. Sometime we can’t remove ourselves from the situation but do what you can. Talk to someone. Let them know.
And don’t let it kill your creativity, because, you know what, there is only one of you and without you, that special something that you bring to the world, is gone… So don’t stand for it.