THE BLOG

Why I'm Glad That 'Girl Online' Was Ghostwritten

08/12/2014 21:29 GMT | Updated 07/02/2015 10:59 GMT

It's so easy to spread hate. To sit behind your laptop at home and write something mean. I have a YouTube channel, and I woke up to an anonymous commenter the other day telling me I should "stop uploading because nobody cares". But that's not why I post videos. I post them because I enjoy doing them, and that's exactly why Zoella began her own blog and YouTube channel - because she enjoyed it. And I imagine that's exactly why she wrote her book - because she wanted to, and because she enjoyed doing it.

To be approached by Penguin to write a book is a massive deal - it's all too easy to forget that they approached Zoe because they liked her writing style on her website. That's significant in itself - because it shows that she has the talent to write.

I know that my tiny little comment on YouTube is nothing compared to the backlash Zoe Sugg has received about her book having been ghostwritten - I'm writing this while looking at an article from a national newspaper that quotes people on Twitter making comments. One of them says it isn't cool to have a novel ghostwritten for you then have your name slapped on it, but that isn't what happened. Those who manage to be understanding and wait before making judgement would realise that yes, Zoe had help writing her book. But who doesn't have help? I'm writing my own book at the moment, and I've had sections planned out by friends who have read sections - even my Dad has given me ideas and detailed structure for scenes based on his own experiences. But I still wrote the words and came up with the characters - and that's exactly what Zoe did.

The best thing Zoella did was to just be upfront about it, and spread the message that everyone needs help when they try something new. I mean, when I started out on YouTube, six months ago, I was stealing the structure of other peoples' "Tag" videos and using them for my own. And other YouTubers take ideas from each other, use them under their own name or brand, and some of them end up making money from it, just as this book will earn Zoe money. Why does it matter who you get your information from? It was ghostwritten - not written for her. A creative project fronted by you, with help from others, is still fronted by you. And that's what Zoella should be proud of.

No one should be afraid to seek help - and no one should put down other peoples' success. Zoella was recognised for her talent, carried out her creative project with help from the very people whose job it is to help, and created an amazing book. I think the world would be a much nicer place if people stopped, gathered more information and had a think about what they're going to say before they create a negative reaction to someone who's worked hard on producing something for her fans. As far as I'm concerned, Zoe, I salute you. You inspired me to realise that I can express myself creatively through my own YouTube channel, website and book, and at the end of the day, people's opinions really don't matter - it's what you think of yourself that matters the most.