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A warning to online writers to keep their eyes wide open

As you succeed in your craft there are things you should be aware of.

By Cheryl E PrestonPublished 6 months ago Updated 6 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - December 2023
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A warning to online writers to keep their eyes wide open
Photo by Silvana Carlos on Unsplash

Don't have your eyes wide shut

If you believe that writers on any site are one big happy family you would be mistaken. I don't intend to be a Debbie Downer or Negative Nancy but to share the truth. If you write online you should keep your eyes wide open because there are predators among us.

People bring who they are to the table and this is something to keep in mind as online contributors. If a person is petty, jealous, and backstabbing in other areas of life it will come out online. As I read comments on the sites I write for Vocal Media, Hubpages, and NewsBreak I have noticed a disturbing pattern. I have been told it happens with Medium as well.

By Andre Hunter on Unsplash

Success brings haters

If you begin to have any amount of success there will be those who attempt to take it from you. They will question why you and not them and ask why are you always on top winning challenges and contests. Some people follow you and read your work just to critique you. They may inbox you or discuss your work with others.

I have seen writers called out on all 3 sites I write for with accusations of alleged plagiarism or criticized for their writing techniques. I've shared before that I was fired from a soap opera spoiler site because other writers told the owner I was writing my own spoilers and sharing them on Facebook.

I did not sign a contract of exclusivity with this site but I was let go because of jealous people. They saw my articles were being read and that sometimes I got the scoop on breaking news before they did so they decided to get rid of me. I had noticed that when I posted in the group forum I was rarely acknowledged.

I'm too busy trying to make a living as a widow to troll other writers or interfere with how another makes their living. I don't have time to police anyone else because it takes time and stifles creativity. Eventually, if someone is plagiarizing or using AI without disclosing it they will be caught.

By Grianghraf on Unsplash

Trolls and spies among us

There are writers on Hubpages and NewsBreak who turn in those they believe used AI and did not disclose it. Instead of putting each other down, or pointing fingers we should build each other up and cheer one another on.

I have also shared that two Vocal Media Facebook groups I joined stopped posting my articles but did not give me a reason. it was as if a hit was put out on me. I felt like Dumbo in the Disney cartoon when the big elephants all put their fat behinds together and would not allow him to join their ranks. They took a solemn oath that he was no longer an elephant but in the end, he saved the day.

I have said before and will say again that people have reported me to Facebook by falsely alleging that I was using other writer's material. For a few weeks, the stories on my Facebook soap opera page were not getting views or comments. I think it's dirty tin interfere with someone's way they make a living especially when you are lying.

By Johann Walter Bantz on Unsplash

The Internet can be brutal

A few years ago a young man who runs a website told me to be careful because people would be jealous of my writing and try to pull me down to advance themselves and I did not believe him. He said this is the way of the Internet and it's brutal and he did not lie. If anyone reading believes this is an exaggeration keep writing and find out for yourself.

Consider all the unsubstantiated rumors right now against Bishop TD Jakes. Without any evidence, people believe that he was involved in a sex scandal with P Diddy. 30 or 40 websites running this information and thousands are commenting and slandering the pastor's name based on allegations.

By Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Write well it's the best revenge

If your work takes off on any of the sites you write for people will change on you and no longer be in your corner. There is an old saying that the best revenge is living well so we all need to write our best work and ignore the detractors.

Gaining views, winning contests, and challenges, and having articles chosen as top stories is an honor but comes with a price. If others become petty rather than celebrate you or produce their best work it's their own fault.

If you as a writer are being lied about, pushed out of a position or have been shunned you must be doing something right so keep going. Let the others show how low they will go and you keep rising higher. Again I say this is an article I never intended to write but someone needs answers and now they have them.

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About the Creator

Cheryl E Preston

Cheryl is a widow who enjoys writing about current events, soap spoilers and baby boomer nostalgia. Tips are greatly appreciated.

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Comments (21)

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  • Exclusively Speaking with Love'Nia Renee about a month ago

    Truthful and honest is definitely the key to success!! It's sad that others can't enjoy the truth from a broader point of view!!

  • It's critical that prospective writers understand and value your perceptive assessment of the drawbacks associated with writing online. It serves as a reminder that, despite the possibility of receiving unfair criticism from time to time, the best course of action is to remain true to your abilities and disregard detractors.

  • Great writing . There are always the party poopers. I have them in my own family . When I went to college I was asked how did I do that I told my cousin well, hmm my car drove me to the campus and I registerd for classes and then my car did the same thing everyday to help me obtain my degree they replied oh wow . They had no clue . I worked in Hollywood and Austin in the film and music industry. I also worked as a nurse. I don't care where one works or what profession they have chosen there are always haters. I am 74 years old . Keep writing , carry on. Ignore the haters and jealous people who have nothing better to do than pick on other folks to beat them down. Eventually karma catches up to the haters. Ignore them

  • Andrea Corwin 4 months ago

    Great piece and boo to the haters. I’m sorry this has happened to you.

  • M.Fiaz4 months ago

    This story touched my heart deeply. The way you captured the emotions of the characters and painted scenes with such vivid detail made it impossible to put down. Your storytelling skills are truly remarkable, and I found myself completely engrossed in the plot from start to finish. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful and poignant story with us. It's a true gem that I'll remember for a long time to come.

  • tarun bhatt5 months ago

    Great story but a very sad state to be in. Keep going. Dont stop.

  • Philip Ebuluofor5 months ago

    It's the way of the world. You need not be disturbed. I was and still at the receiving end of the same jealous attack in medium. But I don't mind them.

  • Gerard DiLeo6 months ago

    When the going gets shitty, the shitty get going. They're out there, like ticks and fleas. All you can do is be true to yourself and press on. It is true that the truth never catches up to the lies, but if you can spend your time happy with yourself insteas of hateful to others, it's a win-win. Great piece.

  • Novel Allen6 months ago

    There is also the issue of one saying no to a request which would be a stressor on one. Then the person ghosts you because you are not in a position to adhere to said request. I have seen it all. But again, I quote Michele. "When they go low, we go high". I agree, success is the best revenge. We just keep going, doing us. Power to the people. Congrats.

  • Test6 months ago

    Amazing job! Keep up the outstanding work—congrats!

  • Bravery TE Walker6 months ago

    Plagiarizing is the lowest of the low. It says that not only does the person not respect you, but they don't even respect the art form they're stealing. They don't believe that art form deserves any kind of respect, so have no qualms just taking it. Plagiarism is shockingly common on the internet, even amongst supposed academics. Everyone's stealing from each other in the hopes someone else's works gives them an edge, whether that be from adding quality to their work or cutting down how much time they spend on the work. It should have far heavier consequences than what usually happens when someone gets caught, which is a slap on the wrist.

  • JBaz6 months ago

    It’s so easy to blame others for failures. I believe we need to support each other. If someone always wins find out what they are doing that is better than your work, read their work and learn Thai is good advice you give Keep writing

  • Zara Blume6 months ago

    I have seen this online and offline. It stems from insecurity. I avoid insecure people at all costs, even those who seem harmless with their self deprecating “humor” or “woah is me” loop tracks. I even avoid people always writing poems about how much they hate themselves. At best, these people will NEVER be supportive, because misery loves company. At worst they’re flat out dangerous, threatening someone’s reputation and livelihood. Self hate ain’t cute to me. I used to feel pity for them, but I learned not to cast my pearls before swine. I only associate with those who can uplift me and contribute more to my life than drama.

  • The Dani Writer6 months ago

    You sharing your experiences and perspectives has been eye-opening. I don't think I'm online long enough to be aware of any of the dramas in writing forums, which is why I never know about these shenanigans. I do know people can be trifling. But truth cannot remain hidden and I agree with your strategy about writing your best work and ignoring the detractors. The cream will always rise to the top. Keep doing you!

  • DJ Robbins6 months ago

    I had a troll criticize my work under one name and change the name later on.

  • KJ Aartila6 months ago

    Yup - sad, but true.

  • Leslie Writes6 months ago

    Yikes. 😳

  • Ace Melee6 months ago

    Well said. It's not just on Vocal and Medium, I have witnessed my friend get attacked by multiple people on Wattpad. I have seen jealous people accusing the writer of ugly things other than just AI or plagiarism: perving, stalking, faking a condition (or triggering someone's episode), and harassing. It goes from group member to group member to being bullied and accused. I have seen writers talking about calling the cops on my friend. I have seen writers leaving due to it. Online writers can become a mess fest quickly once jealousy and false accusations start to arise. It can affect your job if employers see articles about you. The best way to fight back is by keeping on writing, showing them that you're not going to stop their pettiness. Just keep moving.

  • Cathy holmes6 months ago

    Well said. I'm sorry to hear about people trying to pull others down. I haven't really seen much of that here, except with one or two people who I'm not sure are even on the platform any more. It can be discouraging for sure. Congrats on the TS.

  • Judey Kalchik 6 months ago

    Wow- sounds like things have been getting very tough, unfair, and upsetting. I hope it resolves and 2024 is better.

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