The concept of ‘crabs in a barrel’ comes from fishing for crabs. The crabs are caught and placed in buckets, or barrels, for transport and storage. The crabs begin to fight their way to the top in an attempt to escape and they begin hurting each other in the process. Its probably triggered from a basic instinct of survival: get out, live. In a panic they hurt the crabs closest to them and instead of working together to get every crab out, only a few make it to the top. Even fewer make it out.
Of late, I’ve been feeling this way about blogging. There are several times where I have contacted blogs about collabs, or I have commented on posts that bloggers have made about having too many publishing companies contacting them about book reviews and almost all the responses are harsh and nasty. Now you might be thinking, stop being so sensitive. If someone does not want to work with you, they do not have to. And I have no objections to that at all. The issue I have is the way that is delivered. When you can, be kind and respectful. Also, think about why you do not want to collaborate with the person. Is it because you do not like their content or style, or perhaps their idea is not really for you? Or is it because you feel that you made it to the top without any help, so why should you bother with someone beneath you? The reality is that no one can be truly self-made. There are factors of privilege throughout someone’s whole life that will help them in some way or another. However, in saying that no one is self-made, it is also important to note that there are those born with a heck of a lot more support, money, privilege, and/or plane luck than others.
Bloggers in a barrel is not meant to be taken as just one blogger having a whinge about being small. If you’re reading it that way, I am going to assume you are one of those, screw-you-I’m-alright-at-the-top crabs… I want to challenge the way you think about your blogging. And I also want to ask you to resist the urge of bringing other people down. Singer and amazing songwriter, Sza, has a song Go Gina. The opening lyrics, sum up what I am trying to say perfectly:
Picking up a penny with a press on is
Easier than holding you down
Can’t be any harder than holding you up now
We often exert the same amount of effort putting people down as we would if we were lifting them up. So, how are you using your power and strength? Are you holding people down, or holding people up?
Want to collab? Have ideas you wanna share? Talk to a fellow crab tried of the in-fighting. As always, share the reading love.