It took me about a nanosecond to realize you aren’t really allowed to have a public opinion when you are in the limelight. Let’s face it, when you air an opinion of any kind, you are bound to piss someone off. When you are famous, semi-famous, pseudofamous, or even infamous, voicing said opinion can cost you a LOT of supporters and fans. It’s just safer to not have a public opinion, even when you are posting under your own private account surrounded by family and friends. Don’t get me wrong, one of the things I love about the World Wide Web is the ability to slip into anonymity. Well, sort of.
I think it’s time everyone stopped long enough to ask themselves who’s really behind that screen name? I find it incredibly ridiculous that so many people are so quick to jump on someone when they really don’t know who it is they are speaking to. Just because I don’t announce to the world that I am a bestselling author or slap it on the covers of my books doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Just because I don’t brag about all the times I’ve had conversations with NYT bestselling authors and all the times they have linked to this blog doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. Just because I don’t brag about being friends with bona fide rock stars or getting put on the guest lists to their concerts doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Just because I don’t brag about all the conversations I’ve had with other bands and the off-the-record interviews I’ve done with them doesn’t mean it never happened. I don’t feel it is anyone’s business who I am friends with or what those friends do for me, and I do not feel the need to air every single aspect of my professional and public lives on social media. I’m very thankful to all of them, to everyone who helps me, to all those people who have answered my questions and who trust me enough to consider me their friend. But no, I’m not going to brag about it on social media. So in all honesty, no one really has any idea who the fuck I am or the connections I’ve made. So naturally it boggles my mind on exactly why someone would want to run the risk of pissing off someone who could possibly help them?
It is for this reason that I have basically quit the Black Veil Brides fan group. No, not the band. Just because they have a bunch of fans who are incredibly disrespectful to each other doesn’t mean I would punish the band for the way their fans behave. But as far as the fan groups, pages, etc. go, I am DONE. Music isn’t a fad for me. Twenty-five years later I am still supporting Bret Michaels and Poison and all the members of both Poison and BMB and I do it because they mean something to me, and not just the band and the music, but the PEOPLE behind all that, the musicians themselves. I have dedicated books to individual members of BVB, I have dedicated books to the band as a whole, just like I’ve dedicated books to Bret and Pete and given kudos to many, many bands that have influenced me over the past few decades. But at this point I’m so disgusted with the way the BVB fans are acting and jumping on other fans that I am to the point where I’m ready to tell their entire fan group to go fuck themselves. I don’t need this kind of drama in my life. I have enough drama with my books being pirated, being plagiarized, and having other authors sabotage my career to really give a flying fuck what all the thirteen year old goo-goo eyed girls think about an innocent comment I put on the band’s IG photo.
With that said, be very, very careful about who you pick a fight with on social media. I make it a point to go out of my way to help people, spending time I don’t have and money out of my own pocket to help other artists with free promotion, free editing services, free graphic art work, etc. I don’t have to do any of this, but what I’ve learned by being generous is I have met a lot of really great people who have connections. What I get in return is beyond monetary value, because I value the friendships I have made and the real people behind the famous name a lot more than I value what they can do for me. Things can really, really open up for you when you stop being a dick to everyone and stop thinking the entire world revolves around yourself and your own little career. If I acted like everyone else and kept telling people “no” and jumping on everyone who looked at me crossways, I most certainly would not have the friends in the industry that I have today.