I’m rather annoyed by a recent comment about losing self-respect, just in blogging, not to mention what I’ve said about myself. I lost not only a great deal of self-respect, three years ago, but almost all meaning too. It wasn’t some ordinary thing, but truly extraordinary, like Silas Marner in the novel, some kind of spiritual blinding that was reflected in the themes of a book I was writing, and eventually a personal story of almost complete disconnection and internalisation too. But it involved bizarre differences in what respect means, especially between the UK and the States, and among of a group of ‘friends’ too. By the time an so ex indignantly cried out ‘now you’re not respecting me’ it was true, because the disrespects they showed to really meaningful things, to me, compared to those surface ‘rights’ and politically correct proprieties was huge. I say again that people need to honour one another, in staying together but also in separating.

It’s harm is also the harm of bad faith and the nasty voice of rumour too, that writers always have to take on board. That’s also why I’ve spoken openly about myself and although both real respect and self-respect are vital, casual opinions can go jump in a pond. As a once best-selling novelist I don’t always respect blogs, and not everyone should write either books or stories, but I respect quality writing, and the right to share interesting ideas. I had enough self-respect to fight a publisher for a year on fundamental creative principles, ‘win’ but to walk away too, although it has cost a career and a deal of grief. I had enough self-respect to demand eRights from three major publishers. That’s the only thing that makes it all worth talking about, because most people are very good at judging ‘the world’, but terrified of revealing or exposing themselves, or standing up either. Then there is the significance of ‘real life’ and a novel, that few understand or believe. It doesn’t matter, it matters what Phoenix Ark might have to say about the current climate of publishing, the threat of the media, of fear and hypocrisy too, especially in places of power, and a huge failure of connection and awareness between people, in our supposedly hyper connected, blogging Cyberverse. No one can know, unless they went through what I did, the importance of that connection, and sometimes how to fight to find it again, but actually it was some real kind of love and understanding from rather unexpected quarters that made the real difference. DCD

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