Maybe a writer can be a secret bully?
Not explicitly, of course.
The way I thought of it is that a writer can be a bully because writers are typically introverted and, over time, enjoy telling everyone’s little secrets.
One slip of the tongue or bad decision and you end up as a cautionary tale in chapter four.
I loved the comment that I found in the video below, where Anne Lamott simply says:
“If people wanted you to write more warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.”
Joan Didion referred to writing as the tactic of a secret bully. We will do what we must. Our lives are our material. (My mother once asked me if I really needed to include, in an essay published in The New York Times, the details of the first nonkosher meal she ever ordered in front of me—a bacon cheeseburger. Oh, yes. Yes, I did.)
-Dani Shapiro, Still Writing