This weekend I went out to dinner with a close friend, then went to watch my husband's band. If you saw the two of us together you'd end up scratching your head. My friend is very put together, wears beautiful clothes, her hair is always impeccable, and her makeup is always perfect. She reapplies her lipstick several times a day and checks her powder to make sure her skin is flawless. Me? Yeah, I was wearing a black skirt, t-shirt, two-tone fishnet tights, black sparkly Converse shoes, cat eyes and red lipstick. But we have so much in common and have a blast together (even if we do get looks when we go out).
In high school I had my group of friends I hung out with after school, but was friends with everyone. I didn't restrict myself to one clique. I had friends on the cheerleading team, football and baseball teams, nerds, freaks, etc. I never discriminated.
What's my point, you ask?
I've noticed that with every form of art there is a clique that follows. My youngest sister is a painter and deals with it in school. My husband is a musician (and artist) and he sees it, even among adults. And I'm a writer....Yep, I see it everyday.
On Facebook I have over 1200 friends. Now, I don't "know" all of these people, but interact with 95% of them on a weekly, and sometimes daily, basis. With the exception of family and friends, these are people in the industry - other authors, editors, agents, publishers, illustrators, book cover artists, etc. When I see a fellow author get a great deal, or even a movie author I'm ecstatic. Why wouldn't I be? I know firsthand how much time it takes to complete a novel, perfect it, find an agent, etc. I know the blood, sweat, and tears that goes into every chapter of your baby. But, I've noticed not everyone is like that.
Sometimes, just like in high school, you come across a person, or group of people, whose jealousy (or maybe just lack of personal life) forces them to bash anyone who may have success. They stalk blogs, Facebook and Twitter accounts, and make snarky comments to anyone who will listen.
I'll be the first to admit I don't comment on people's blogs enough. The truth is, I don't know how to find out these people have a new blog post unless they share it on one of the social sites. I'm not a very tech savvy person. Also, if someone has said what I was thinking, what's the point of going "yeah, what he said." I know every time there's a comment on a blog an alert goes to their email, so I'm sure they don't appreciate the equivalent of a texted "k", or "lol".
I no longer belong to a writer's group, my critique partners are online, people I've me through social networks. I no longer reveal personal information to anyone I don't know on an extremely personal level, and I don't get involved in the bickering on boards. I don't have the time. Between writing, researching, editing, housework, raising three kids, two dogs, chickens, lizards, and cats...oh, and a wonderful husband, I just don't have the time for any added drama. Save the drama for your mama.
How about you? Have you experienced any cliques, or backstabbing in the creative world?