Is this backlash against Zoella born from jealousy?
At the start of this week, I didn't know who or what Zoella was; in fact, if you had challenged me to guess I would have opted for a new variation on Nutella spread.
However, even those of us who don't really engage in this vlogging craze that is creating a frenzy across YouTube and beyond must surely by now have heard the name. She has had a huge following for some time but she hit the mainstream news when her debut book outsold the opening sales of previous record holding titans J.K Rowling (Harry Potter writer) and E.L James (cliche porn writer).
Wherever there is success, British media laws dictate that a scandal must follow and no sooner was Zoella oozing thanks to all and sundry who have got her to where she is now had her dark secret been exposed. Yes, like most celebrity writers, it was discovered that Zoella had employed the services of a ghost writer. No, that isn't a deceased author returned from the spirit world, but someone who is employed to transfer the thoughts of their client into legible prose. In the case of national heroes like Katie Price's ghost writer, they deserve every penny of their wage. I couldn't do it.
An angry mob led by the ever so docile Katie Hopkins, who has now taken to Twitter to start bullying Zoella's young teenage fans, including telling them that their training bras weren't working (stay classy, KT!), has delivered an outraged backlash towards Zoella that would make one think she had committed an atrocity akin to torching an orphanage.
In reality, she has subscribed to a widely available service, utilised it legitimately and it has paid off for her. Most writers instinctively kick off at how easily she has broken into the writing market when most of us slog for years for any hint of recognition (hey, I'll just be buzzing if this feature gets shared once). I for one, take my hat off to the girl as what many people seem to forget is that she didn't just wake up one day, ask someone to write a book for her and then become famous. Zoella laid the groundwork for her own popularity herself. If she hadn't gained such a huge following on Youtube first, no doubt her book would have flopped.
She has done something which any writer with a brain cell would do if the opportunity fell into their lap. She has capitalised on an opportunity and, if I were in her shoes, I wouldn't be listening to the haters on social media who are envious that this didn't happen to them. I would be counting my wads of cash and sticking two fingers up to the bitterness coming my way. All publicity is good publicity and this outpouring of scorn against Zoella, if anything, will have enhanced her book sales and social media follower count even more.
It's human nature to become resentful when someone is successful in something that we could have done ourselves. But isn't hindsight a wonderful thing? We can all look back at what she has done and think: 'I could have done that AND written the damn book by myself.'
The point is, I didn't. And she did. And no amount of throwing toys out of my literary pram will change that or transfer her good luck and fortune onto me. All it will do is make me look a little bit silly.
Instead of lashing out at Zoella and criticising her methods of achieving the success that most of us will never taste, why don't we learn from it? The days are gone where we use a typewriter to agonisingly piece together a novel pitch; it's all about social media now. Zoella was one step ahead and it just happened to work out for her.
And, from one writer to another way more successful (but probably not as good) one, I say I hope it continues to work out for her for a long time to come.