I'm done with Writing
So everyone wants to know why I am giving up on writing and the literacy industry. Well, here we go. (I will not share names out of respect for people) First off, don’t think I’m putting my pen down because I am struggling to write (because I have stories for days) or because I don’t love it anymore. I just don’t love the stress and mindset I’m in about this.
Writing has always been a love of mine. I’ve done it ever since I can remember. In 2017, I let my best friends at the time convince me that my stuff was good and to share it with the world. I was very reluctant, but I did it.
I started sharing my short stories on Facebook and, to my surprise; I blew up. Now some issues came along with that. I got nasty comments, people reporting my stuff, and more. But at the end of the day, I was just happy that I took my leap and people were enjoying my work. I would come home at night after working until 11 pm and get on Facebook to read all the comments and inboxes I got and respond back.
I got emails and offers from publishers to write a book, but after reading the contracts and sending them to a lawyer, I realized a lot of them were scams or that they honestly just wanted me to help their current authors grow their platforms. When I declined, I had more than one publisher tell me I wasn’t going to be anything without them backing me. That my books wouldn’t do anything and more.
I cried my eyes out and went to my dad and talked about it. When it was all said and done after our talk, I decided I would take my own money and publish my book. (and to anyone that is looking to self publish or has. This is not cheap. You pay anywhere from $30 and up for ebook covers, another $30 and up for physical covers, $50+ for copyrights, editors, formatting/ typestyle, $130 for an ISBN, and more.) But I did it. I worked as a CNA and at frontier just to make sure I had all the money I needed and wasn’t cutting corners.
No one would give me tips or answers. I had to find them. This industry feels like everyone is competing with them and aren’t the most open. That's why I am and always have been so big on answering questions and helping authors coming up behind me.
I was active with my audience to promote my book and just be an all-around present. Strangers were supporting me, but not alot of the people I knew and expected (but that comes with the game) I was watching people in the “church” tell me how I was going to hell for writing urban fiction. That I was making my dad seem like a joke because he was a minister in the gospel. But I was writing this stuff. And although it hurt because I felt like God wouldn’t give me a gift, he didn’t want me to use. I smiled and kept pushing and cried in private.
Then I hit another wall. I hired a virtual assistant. Agreed that her job was to manage the orders that were coming through on my site, find an editor and be in contact with them, promote the book, and more. My book went into the stage of being edited and it seemed like I was getting no feedback. I hit up my virtual assistant asking what editor was being used, what the update was, etc, and I got excuse after excuse. Lie after lie. Finally, we are a week out and the book is being sent to the person to format and I find out. That my virtual assistant did the edits the whole time and pocketed my money. I didn’t flip, I just said okay as long as it was done right and we were going to make it so that all my people that pre-ordered would get their book on time.
Release day hit and my virtual assistant is MIA not promoting the book, not answering my calls, my inboxes, my text nothing. I move on and promote my book. A week later, messages came in that people hadn't gotten their book. So I went and checked Ingram Sparks because that is who we were using to print and they had no orders placed for books to be printed but yet all the money for the orders was gone from my PayPal account. I instantly went to my virtual assistant and still had no answer.
Now I had to face what was going on. So instead of blaming someone else. I took accountability for it and everything that came with it. People cussing me out. Wanting a refund, calling me a scammer, and more. I took money out my own check every two weeks to order books and make sure that orders were completed.
And then I debated not putting out another one. But the love I got from my book was so amazing I had to. Yes, I got negative comments about my book: that it was poorly edited, etc but I moved on and put out two more books by the end of 2018.
For the next few years, my audience on Facebook grew, but my sales struggled. I saw people show up for the free stuff I was posting, but I didn’t make a big deal because as long as people were enjoying my gift, that was a treat.
It didn’t become an issue until people bashed me about how slowly I was putting up content. Not understanding that I worked two jobs and that writing books wasn’t making me any money. I had 20,000+ people following on Facebook, but my royalty checks for the month wasn’t even breaking $100. But I still showed up. I’m helping others that think I’m an inspiration because they don’t know they were pushing me.
Time goes on and things seem to be okay. I bring home the author of the year award in my home town, I’m doing radio interviews, and more. There are minor issues here and there, but nothing major.
Until 2020, when I go to release my new book to get a message that I am plagiarizing someone else’s work when I try to copyright it. Come to find out the person I let test read for me. Put my book out as their own. Even after signing a document not to. So now I have to face my readers and tell them I can’t put out the book. Issue out a refund for pre-orders and more. You can only imagine the names I was called and stuff I heard. Then having to hire a lawyer. (to this day I still can’t release that book)
I went into a dark space and dropped nothing that year.
2021 rolls around and because I was in my feelings the year before, my audience’s attention had gone elsewhere and even though I was ready to share my stuff again, I had to fight to bring them back. I released two books. Invest in classes and more to better myself. I started to help others. But now I have other authors trying to destroy my name. Authors I’ve never even spoken to.
2022 rolls in and I am excited, thinking it’s going to be a good year. My audience was coming back. My short stories were getting attention. And I had so much I wanted to write about. But I get kicked left and right in a matter of two months. My name is being trashed. My work is still being stolen. People are going as far as to report my entire business page, so Facebook notified me that they will be taking it down.
And yes, some will say that it’s just a little stuff, but as an author and business owner, I know that most of my audience is women between the age of 18 - 44 (most are 25-34) and they are on Facebook. That’s where they found me and are used to seeing me. So having my page ripped away at 30.0K followers on Facebook is a slap in the face.
So now I am broken. There are so many other things that have happened that I just rather not speak on. But at this point, I feel like I have no more in me to even try. I have given stuff that’s more important than the money. I’ve given my heart, my time, my efforts, and so much more. To feel like in 5 years my dream has gone nowhere.