Well. This has certainly been an interesting week. Not even that long; three days.
The response to my last blog post wasn’t what I expected. Truly, I expected it to ruffle a few feathers then sink without trace, rather like my writing career.
But…not so. The post exploded. In the past 72 hours, my blog’s had well over 4k hits. Yep. You read that right. Four thousand. that’s well over double what I’ve ever had in my best month blogging, since the beginning of time.
I’ve received a shit-ton of DMs on Twitter, and here’s the surprising thing — not one has been negative. Not one has been disbelieving. Not one has been a defence of the person I accused. I’ve had thank-yous for speaking up from complete strangers, I’ve had “Good for you!” and I’ve had celebratory comments from people who have been waiting for someone to stick their head above the parapet and say “So this bitch…”
I can’t tell others’ stories for them, but I hope they choose to come forward. One or two are already speaking more openly about their experiences, similar to mine, on social media. Not only that, but I see from my blog stats that my ‘cup of tea’ link is being passed around Facebook and Goodreads too. Oh, and a couple of online fora. I can’t always read such threads as they’re password-protected, but people are talking. (Perhaps there are disbelieving comments there and I’m just not seeing them.)
It would seem my friend Petra was correct when she said, “If a person’s a bitch to you, you can bet they’ve been a bitch to other people, too.” I knew she’d be right (Petra’s always right) but I grossly underestimated the extent of the damage one person has done to so many others’ confidence and creativity. The sheer number we’re talking about here is amazing. I mean, how do you go through your entire writing career with not one person willing to defend you against the story I related here back on Tuesday evening? How do you offend, hurt and disappoint so many people before you even turn 40?
Not only that, but I’m reconnecting with people from whom I was separated by, er…circumstances…many years ago. I’ve learned the truth of this quote from my previous blog post:
And it’s easier to snow someone if you cut them off from the person who’s telling the truth. I’ve had confirmation from multiple sources that Erika “strongly advises” people to cut me dead.
Oh how accurate that turned out to be.
Now, when it comes to my writing, as I said in that post, I’m going to finish Read Me and my menage novella, purely to avoid leaving works unfinished. I’m still, as usual, jotting down story ideas in a small notebook but that’s a lifelong habit. Do I intend to put those ideas into novella or novel form? Let’s just say whereas on Tuesday it was 75% likely I’d quit for good, now it’s…50/50.
Telling my truth and being congratulated (yes, really!) for doing so, having so many people tell me “I had a similar experience,” or “I knew who you were talking about all along,” or “All right, so lemme tell you this about her,” has been a weight lifted off my shoulders. I wouldn’t exactly say I had a cloud hanging over me for years, but it’s definitely been a burden of sorts to have this truth within me, unheard. And now I feel lighter, freer, could that mean it’s easier for me to be creative?
All I can say is…possibly.
I’m not going to put any pressure on myself. When I write, I’m very much a feast or famine writer, which is why the intensity of pomodoros works so well for me. 3-4k words in a day is standard for me when I’m on a writing kick these days. That’s not the kind of pressure I’m referring to. That’s intensity as I said, and it works well for me. But, what I mean by pressure is unrealistic deadlines such as “I’m going to write a novella in a month and, in fact, every month and if I don’t, I’ll hate myself!” Hell, if my productivity does pick up, that’s great, but only if my levels of enjoyment pick up, too.
When I talk about pressure, perhaps I should say obligation. I’m not going to feel an obligation to produce a novella or a novel a month, on a regular basis. Basically, I want writing to feel like play. For now, at least.
I can schedule various projects if I want, because schedules can change. Illness happens, some life events are unavoidable, emergencies occur. Let’s just say that beyond Read Me and the menage novella, my writing plans will be written in pencil, not ink.
While I’m not looking to become a crusader, if there’s anyone out there who wants to unburden themselves to me, I’m easy to find on Twitter or by email. You’ll find a sympathetic, discreet ear from me.
And if anyone wants to sign up to my (free!) newsletter for writing-related stuff, you can do so here. I also have a Patreon page and a tips jar over on Ko-Fi for the proper care and caffeination of your favourite tea-spiller, truth-teller and fuck-intolerant refusenik.