Welcome to another #SensualSunday folks. This is going up a little later than normal because I forgot to etch out some time to write it earlier in the day before getting swept up with friends, food, and a little bit of drinking. Just a little.
Today’s topic is not nearly as serious (maybe), and yet is as important as my post last week. Every author will face some, or all the below at some point in their career. Hell we’ve all been, or known someone in this position in our every day lives outside of our writing.
What does one do when they are face with peer pressure?
I’m not talking about a friend trying to get you to try drugs for the first time, or taking a drink before you’re of age. This peer pressure is from the community you are now a part of – the author community. While no less hard to face it can be more insidious if you are not aware. Now I’m not going to claim I know it all, I wish – I’d be a bloody billionaire if I did – but I’m the sort that has seen/heard much so I think I can provide you a little insight.
Peer pressure can come in many forms from the obvious to the sly. The obvious you will know it when it smacks you in the face and know to avoid it. It’s the sly, devious peer pressure you need to beware of. The people that bow to this, or go along with it are what’s been coined (although I don’t believe it’s in a dictionary yet) as SHEEPLE.
Whatever is a “sheeple”?
Simple, these are people who act like sheep. They have a shepherd who guides them. This shepherd is the group leader, the alpha dog if you will that uses those who look up to them as fodder. The sheeple are so enamored by the shepherd that they no longer think for themselves. Usually these sheeple are the sort who have always looked for someone to guide them through life because thinking for themselves hurts.
This is “herd mentality” for those playing along at home.
Herd mentality is a dangerous thing. It’s what makes cults so effective, and what makes a cult follower so difficult to break free. The shepherd believes 100% of what they say to be fact. They are charlatans selling their oil to the masses. The masses, aka the sheeple, hang on the shepherds every word. They take that word as gospel never once having a spark of individual thought to maybe question things or worse yet, research what they are being sold. They buy it lock, stock, and barrel.
When you don’t think for yourself, don’t question those around you or what they are telling you, you become a sheeple. There’s another word for this – gullible. Sorry, but there it is. We as a species are curious and by our very nature question our reality, our world, and our state of being. So why is it that there are folks that just toe the line and believe in the shepherd’s out hawking their wares?
We all have moments of weakness where we want to believe in the goodness of others. Where we grow tired of questioning everything and everyone around us. In the “good old days”, and I put that in quotations because I don’t yet qualify for senior citizenry yet and therefore may get my ears swatted for coining the phrase, we took a person at their word. A handshake was a solemn vow between two individuals to uphold their pact. It was a sacred bond, an agreement, a contract if you will.
Question everything and everyone around you.
In the digital age we have access to the World Wide Web. Use it! If something sounds too good to be true it likely is. If someone sounds like they are selling you something they probably are and it’s likely based on a hope and a prayer that you won’t do your homework. They teach women from a young age to always be aware of our surroundings and those around us in less than ideal circumstances. To never go down a dark alley in the dead of night. To guard our drinks in bars with the ferocity fathers once guarded their daughters virginity before finding her a husband.
Do not be taken in by a shyster. Do your homework on everything and if you aren’t sure, ask others in the community you trust. I have heard too many tales of people being pulled into shady contracts by seemingly legitimate publishers only be to screwed in the end to believe anything anyone tells me. I have heard too many stories about people trusting the wrong person, someone “trust worthy” in the community and getting screwed. Build your friendships with the same care you would raise a child. Nurture them, water them, and make sure you are always equally reciprocating. One day that could save you from being one of hundreds of authors getting the raw end of a deal.
All right, last thing I have to say (ramble about?) before I release you to enjoy your day. Do not believe anything posted on social media. There are reliable sources you have access to with the use of with the Net. Utilize them. And if that still brings up nothing solid discuss it with an impartial party, a trusted friend like the women I am blessed to share this blog with, who can help you figure out what to do. Friends like these fab six may well keep you from making a blunder that will follow you your entire career, or worse – destroy it. Remember, no one can be a better champion for your career than you.
XO Moira Callahan