I’M OVER IT
<I’ll warn you this is long. It will take the average reader about thirty minutes to read. This is only for those who are confused as to my sudden departure from the indie author community on social media.>
I guess it’s time to illuminate everyone and document these last few months the best I can so I don’t have to repeat my story. I hate repetition, and even my overall life theme is now changing. It’s time to once again become more of who I’m supposed to be, which is yet to be revealed.
If you remember only one thing after reading this, please remember this: Despite the continual maligning of my name and reputation over literally NOTHING! I never once, and never will, mention one name. I never once called out one of the bully’s and I never once went to their page and ruined their reputation. I also never responded or got into a bickering war. I am not a troll and I would never intentionally hurt another the way I’ve been attacked.
At this point the story has turned into a malignant cancerous thing even though I never, (yes I keep saying never because I feel that part is important), directly communicated with or responded to one negative note, comment, blog or page feed written specifically to malign my name. So whatever happened, happened amongst all of you and went unpoliced and uncensored without me being part of any of it.
I do find it amusing that the cunts always know who they are and are always willing to take everything and anything personally.
The demise of “Fundercunt,” (this is the name they all began calling me).
September first-ish I posted a go-fund me campaign. It sat fallow for two weeks. It was my last ditch effort to remain a fulltime writer, something I’ve been now for the past five years. I’ve produced a multitude of titles under both my name and as a ghost writer. I averaged ten hour days, six days a week and I wrote over a million words during that time. I’m a huge believer in perfect practice creates a perfect outcome. I practiced as perfectly as I knew how and I learned what I needed to learn so my practice became better and better. Good-better-best-never-let-it-rest. That’s my motto, and over those five long years, I made my good, incrementally better! I’ve not yet owned that I’ve written my best, and I might never.
Excellent writing, just like in any other endeavor, is a lifetime’s quest of perfect practice and a battlefield littered with failures.
I am however extremely proud of what I’ve produced. I’ve done it all without much help. Even did most of my own editing and cover designs. The formatting and my struggles to understand self-publishing technology were a massive stumbling block, but I overcame that as well. I’ve done it all on my own.
This last year, I did have some amazing people helping me. Without their help and assistance, I would have quit a year ago. They kept me going far past my threshold.
So, my deadline was up. I’d given it my best try and I’d not managed to turn it into any sort of livelihood. My goal was a grand a month. That never happened, or even came close. I feel five years is ample time to figure out it wasn’t working for me. And all the while I was working odd jobs and manual labor jobs to support the expenses incurred when an author decides to self-publish. I even invested thousands in the production of audio books from one of my series, but that never panned out the way I’d hoped, and I’ve yet to even garner half of my investment.
Then I humbly and with all innocence posted a go-fund me campaign. I was transparent and honest and I did nothing to engender false pity. I also never once considered I’d get support, or notice, from anyone who’d yet to read one of my titles. Over the past few years I’ve given away thousands of dollars in my books. All I was hoping for was a ten-spot from a few of my fans who’d received free print or multiple digital books from me. It still wasn’t going to support me. Who can live on a grand a month?
I’ve learned one thing in my forty nine years on this planet, if you don’t ask, you will not receive. People are not generous and nobody just gives for the sake of giving.
So I asked.
On September 14th, someone on Facebook started a gang bullying campaign against me. My personal page was flooded with hideous comments about me being a lazy, no-good for nothing, entitled bitch, and even a few wished for my demise since I was now considered the scourge of the earth, (for simply asking for help?). I was flooded with messages telling me they would never read any of my work and from this day forward they would block and degrade my name everywhere they could.
I laughed and then proceeded to delete and block over thirty trolls. Then I wrote a well worded rebuke against the trolls maligning me in my own house. This is how I self-protect. I do not lay down and take it. I write about it. I am not a coward and will maintain I am one of the most courageous people I’ve ever met. Those closest to me will attest to this fact. If in person I was bullied, I’d fight back with all I had in me, and I’d probably win if it was a fist fight. I am not afraid of anyone.
I still maintain that I don’t give a flying fuck what they say or said on their pages or blog feeds. I never read a word of what was going on in that short viral moment of hating Payne. No lie, I read not a word! So I have no real clue as to how the story became so convoluted and I overnight turned into someone to hate.
What upset me, and why I fought back, was because they came to my ‘house’ and did it on my personal pages, and that I will not stand for.
Yes, I called them all, “Cock Juggling Thunder Cunts.” I also included some other choice insults. It was cathartic for me and to this day I will not apologize. If you are so inclined, scroll my Facebook page, ( http://www.facebook.com/payneatadventuresinpayne ) and you’ll find my rant. I guess I should have left the malicious overflow from the cunts owning it was them, but I didn’t, I deleted it all, so yeah, now I look even more insane. Whatever. I really don’t care. Other’s perceptions of me are none of my concern, and I can and will continue to live by that rule.
So, after my rant, and name calling, it blew up even more, which was fine, I figured it would. At that point, the message had been received loud and clear, “You will not make it as a full time author. Find another path.” Fine, I was already leaning that way, thanks for the final shove. (What I’ve come to decide is I won’t make it if try and use Facebook as my promotional platform. That site is just too vanilla for who I am and what I write.)
I didn’t care. I’d already decided I was through. I’d written my fill and yeah, my consistent ten fans always loved me and always gave me great reviews. Thanks guys! I know who you are and I will forever love you! The rest of you can kiss my ass.
The troll-cunts went so far as to ruin my high 4/5 star average on Goodreads by posting false 1 star ratings on all my titles. This effectively lowered my average to the 2/3 star range, which for me, is not good enough and not nearly good enough for me to be working simply for ratings and averages. That’s bullshit and it is ridiculous for anyone to say the thanks is in the work itself. Again, bullshit. If I can’t share my new worlds, and find people who appreciate my work, I don’t want to share at all. Yes, I am taking my jacks and going home. Screw you guys. These are my children you are destroying. Fuck you and fuck the horse you rode in on. Go and kick someone else’s babies and leave mine alone.
I also said being a writer was/is a thankless non-job. I will continue to hold to that forever. There are no financial rewards and the random glowing review is all fine and dandy, but in the end, means very little. I know my stories are awesome. My characters are different and unique, just like us. Some are vapid, some are introspective, and all are searching for that something missing I’ve felt my entire life.
What was painfully obvious to me, and blatantly clear, was that even within my own so called team, there were only a handful who truly tried and cared. It was the same ten out of forty who left me reviews and actually read my work. Even my own PA never left me a review, and she was a book blogger. My second PA had read and loved one of my books, and although I loved her passion, she couldn’t do anything against the tide of apathetic followers. The third PA hadn’t read me either, nor ever left me a review, and the second I took one step against the bullying troll-cunts, she totally disappeared. Not a word.
And of course there were a raft of people spouting the company line, and reading from the current global downloaded script: “Don’t let them get you down! Don’t let them win by you quitting. Don’t give into the pressure, you’re better than that. Regroup and restart…” yadda, yadda, yadda.
Wouldn’t restarting with another name be totally insane? Wouldn’t that be me doing the same fucking thing, and expecting a different result? I practice sanity, and the truth is, I was already done. I walked away after that weekend and was actually relieved. I hate questions. I have not one from my past five years. I gave it all I had. I lived it, I practiced, I worked, I rarely slept and I lived in total poverty the entire time. It’s so much easier to walk away than it is to keep trying. It’s also saving me thousands, so just that alone means I don’t have to sweat it anymore.
The thing is, six/seven years ago I literally lost everything. I lost my entire life’s work and everything I ever loved or worked for was gone. I tried to commit suicide. I was alone in a way few have ever felt. I’d truly hit my rock bottom.
I failed at the suicide, and writing is what saved my sanity. Writing made me who I am today, and who I am today is an entirely different person from who I was seven years ago. I found myself and I love myself and I really don’t need anyone else to validate that for me. I also know without a shadow of a doubt, I am an exceptional writer. My last three novels are as good if not better than any other in my genre currently on the best seller list. I know this. Nobody needs to tell me.
Writing novels, the real kind, the ones that are over eighty thousand words? Those are literally months of birth pains. Then months of edits and revisions which make you doubt all the previous efforts. It’s a pile of crap that nobody will read. The rejection is mind numbing. So yeah, I’m over writing novels. I’ll leave up what I’ve currently produced. I have three more that are almost finished, so eventually those will complete a couple of my series. But that’s it. This entire endeavor is much too insane for my tastes.
After my breakdown, I made one major change. I decided I would never again invest myself so fully in something that my identity revolved around it. Nothing in my future would ever hold enough sway over me as to ruin me if I lost it.
It wasn’t until a couple years ago that I even used the preface, “Author,” on my name. I didn’t think I was, I thought I was still practicing, and I know we have to pay to practice, we don’t get paid during those times. So I didn’t ask until now. I will forever maintain you cannot fault me for asking. The better scenario would have been total silence. Not the shit storm that ensued—and I will again say, it was OVER FUCKING NOTHING!!!!!!!!!
Okay, so two months have passed. I’ve removed myself from social media to the extent that I only respond to a direct message. I rarely post anything and I’ve ceased all self-promotion. Again, what a fucking relief! My stuff wasn’t selling before, and if it did, it was only because I put it up at .99C. So whatthefuckever, same shit, different day. Nothing is selling and the silence was a tonic. I could breathe again.
I worked on and finished a short novella that was scheduled to be released in an anthology in January. I was kinda excited about this box set and being included with some of these elite authors. I thought maybe I could find a new audience since this was my first contemporary erotic romance. I normally write in the paranormal/metaphysical/fantasy genre. So yeah, I had a few moments of, maybe this will be all I need to revive my passion in writing/sharing.
Let me just say this, I am a writer. I will always write. This is part of who I am. Sharing it, self-publishing and then waiting for reviews? Well, that’s another whole ball of wax, and that I probably will not do that from here on out.
This box set was a 3 month endeavor and I gave my input when asked and the covers were created and all of us in it were getting excited. We released one of the covers, with my name on it among the other authors. Turns out the other authors were bombarded with negative comments simply because I was included.
Again, I have to say, “Really? Seriously? You find that much offense in one single word, (the cunts always know who they are), when it wasn’t really directed at you in the first place?”
The second I got wind of it I voluntarily left the group and removed my submission. No need to force an issue where there isn’t one. They weren’t really friends anyway and of course everyone is only looking out for themselves. Of course I understand this.
I personally don’t think a box set including six or more very long books and selling for .99C will suffer much from a boycott of those who hate me, but whatever.
If those who are concerned, need another anxiety attack, low be it for me to supply the ammunition. Poof, I’m gone. I will never, NEVER, hang around where I am not wanted. And actually, I’ll take a step farther, I will no longer hang around were I am merely tolerated. If I am not loved and shown love, I am outta there so fast you’ll miss me ever arriving.
So, once that happened I was once again flooded with those who knew nothing of the past 2 months of shit slinging—OVER LITERALLY NOTHING! And they wanted to know what was up. I’m so over it I didn’t want to tell anyone anything. But I guess I owe it to those who truly want to know.
I was also bombarded with the whole, “Never give up—don’t let them win…” yeah, whatever. You guys realize it’s just a bunch of words strung together that mean literally nothing? Those words don’t inspire me to write. They don’t pay one of my fucking overdue bills and they don’t put food on my table. I will continue to drive my late 80’s vehicle and live in my shitty trailer and work manual labor jobs until I fall over dead. That is my reality. That is life and it sucks, but it’s the way of things and there is no placebo that will change it.
Guess what? The bully’s usually win. They are the strongest and loudest among us. They are the fittest and the most easily offended among us. They make the rules, they enforce the rules and the rest of you just cower in a corner and hope you aren’t next. What if the bullied all ganged together against the bully’s? Yeah, like that will ever happen.
What if during the unethical gang raping of my titles on Goodreads, it had been balanced by my over a thousand friends going in and giving me 5 star ratings? It wouldn’t have meant anything in regards to my ability as an author but it would have been a clear message to those assaulting me that the indie author community at large won’t stand for this sort of behavior.
What if my fellow struggling indie authors backed me up and said, screw the trolls, lets hang together and yes, please lets put out a kick ass anthology. Yeah, whatever, that scenario would have been truly surprising. It’s not human nature and I never expected it.
I used to think there was a sacred understanding between readers and authors. I valued every honest review, and I learned from most of them. I made changes when I could and I revised how I wrote about certain characters etc. But to receive blatantly dishonest ratings on a title they never read is an abhorrent crime and nobody stood up for me, (one did publicly and I will forever adore that man for doing so!). Not publicly anyway. My ten friends and fans who sent me love and understanding messages are the exceptions, but they’d already shown me their support. My thousand other supposed friends? SILENCE!!! Crickets! Fine! Message received.
So yeah, I’m not going to write novels anymore. I can still do my poetry and my short flash fiction and be just as satisfied. I don’t need anyone’s approval or even comments. I know what I like and I like what I write. That’s plenty for me. I have no need to save another or impact another or even exist for anyone apart from myself.
The life of an indie writer. Walk in my shoes for a few words:
You went to bed around three AM the night before. You got up at six. You have a word count for the day and if you don’t start, you won’t make it. You are ever anxious about the flow of words. When will they stop? Will you make your goal of five thousand for the next day? It would be better if you could get in eight, but that’s highly unlikely given you also must spend a few hours working and driving and being the servant to your client base. Your odd jobs are never dependable income, but they do provide you with more hours to write and you can set those hours as you see fit. Lots of late nights.
You turn off the phone because the creditors keep calling. You hope eventually they’ll stop. Thank god they don’t have debtors prison anymore.
You have five uninterrupted hours, (hopefully), so you start. The words flow, the characters speak to you, they define themselves. Dialog and conversations are created. You leave your body and you’re certain you’ve gone insane. You feel mentally ill and as if perhaps you’re schizophrenic. You’re writing fiction after all, erotica most of the time, it’s a fluff filled genre full of formula romances. You refuse to be like the rest. You must be unique and different. You give it your all.
You’re loathe to leave the world at your fingers, but you must. You have an hour’s worth of chores for others and you really need that $20.00. You once again tabulate the cost of purchasing print books as promotional giveaways. You check your credit card balance. Will they accept another $100.00 charge?
Three hours later, after nothing went your way and you’re exhausted from the bullshit of serving and living other’s ill-conceived lives, you return to your fourteen by sixty foot trailer and the chair you’ve worn out, but need. Thank god your laptop works. You’ve forgotten to eat. Fuck it. You don’t need to eat.
You try to get back into the flow of the words, but you’re tired. You try though, and manage to make your goal. If they are a good five thousand words that’s great, if not, if the contractor doesn’t like them, you’ve wasted hours upon hours. You go back through and edit, polish and make notes. You’ll need to add something and you need time to figure out how, and the transitions that will make it coherent.
You throw in a load of laundry and continue thinking. At the spin cycle the washer makes a hideous sound and then starts smoking.
You cry. Not only can’t you afford a new washer, but you can’t afford the laundromat. Dammit.
You decide to call it. You go to bed. It’s only nine, but you’re exhausted. The next morning you have to be up at dawn to go feed some horses. On the way there, you’re late 80’s vehicle check engine light comes on. It’s just one more thing. You take inventory of the cars at your disposal and a late 70’s truck is about it, but it runs, so whatever. The heater doesn’t work, guess it’s time to bundle up.
You finally get to the words again around ten AM. They are okay, not great, but you hope passable. You have to get another five thousand in today. If you don’t, you won’t make that $200.00 paycheck for the twenty thousand words expected for this week. At this point you’re working for about a dollar an hour. Whatever, at least you’re writing.
You do this for two years. Honing your craft. You are inches from being destitute, but you’re hanging on. Your greatest desire is to be allowed time to write what you want, your stories, your name, your books. If you do this though, if you write for yourself, you won’t make a cent. Not even that dollar an hour that’s been keeping you going. But you do it anyway, and you ask friends and family for help. You humble yourself enough to take handouts and you’re grateful. You’re writing!
You write for yourself, your stories, your words, your worlds and your people. Your vision comes to life and you’ve perfected your craft so it’s wonderful and you are so happy with what you’ve produced. You learn what you need to format and edit and self-publish, first as digital, then you learn an entirely new process for turning your digital work into a real print book.
You pay for a cover, you pay for a copy editor; you pay for all of it. Then you purchase your book in hard copy. It’s in your hands. It’s fucking amazing. Not worth the torture or the life you don’t have, but still, you did it.
Then you shatter your ankle. Your body is wearing out and the way you’ve always earned a living is no longer available to you. Training horses is a physical endeavor the young and strong. Now what will you do? And of course the medical bills from the hours of surgery and days in the hospital will haunt you the rest of your existence. The crippling arthritis will remind you too. You try and look on the bright side. “I don’t need a working ankle to continue writing. My hands are just fine.”
Then you start attempting to self-promote yourself. You use social media for all its worth and you learn that game, you play that game. You kiss asses and you give away everything you’ve worked so hard to birth. You pay for it all, and give it all away. Even the digital copies you must pay for and gift, otherwise there is the risk of your work being stolen and used by other more successful authors. The good reviews begin to rack up. Yes, there are a few negative, but you can learn more from those than the good. You already like what you’ve produced. You just want to make it better and you’ve never cared about pleasing the masses.
You learn it’s quite cutthroat, and nobody really cares. The indie author world has turned into a machine and you are nothing more than an easily replaced cog. Everyone is doing it. Everyone is writing. Everyone is producing books. They are also raising families and working two full-time jobs. You still have no idea how they all do it, but more power to them, perhaps you are as inferior as some are saying.
You continue though, this is your dream and you keep hitting those keys. You work on your series and after five years, you have ten titles up on Amazon. You still aren’t making much more than about a hundred a month and you still owe your family for the almost four thousand you borrowed to make four of your books into audio books. You really thought the royalties would pay back that investment. After a year and still only at half the original investment, you start to think perhaps this is a totally insane life and you might need to make some changes. You’ve been doing everything in your power and have received the same exact results no matter.
You’ve begged for reviews and your consistent ten fans have accommodated. You’ve compiled a consistently high average of stars on your titles and all the reviews are honest, most are glowing. Some even truly get how unique you are as an indie author. This is almost enough, but now you’ve lost the place you lived. You need to work a real job, or somehow, magically find a way to make the past five years of toil pay off. You set up a crowdfunding campaign and in all innocence ask for patronage.
You are not ignored as you suspected, but no, you are maliciously attacked for asking. Called horrible names and your reputation goes from interesting and different to that of a murderer. At least on social media that’s what happens. Whatever, you hated the ass kissing anyway and as long as you were self-promoting and trying to organize your worthless, apathetic team, you have no time or energy to write. It’s one or the other, not both. At least not for you and how you operate.
Your team needs constant validation. You begin to realize they aren’t there for you at all. It’s more of a social party for them. A social way of making themselves feel useful and important. It could be you or any number of the million other indie authors. It makes no difference to any of them. If you want them to continue helping, and pimping as they call it, you must stroke them non-stop. Now you are spending hours upon hours a day answering to social media.
None of them stick up for you during this malicious affront to your personal page. You’re confused since you’ve always humbly asked for help. Never hurts to ask. They can always say no. They didn’t need to bully you that way. Makes no sense, but whatever. That ship has sailed and now your ratings have been unethically destroyed by those truly hoping to hurt you. What they don’t understand is that they didn’t hurt you, they hurt your children, your books, your stories waiting to be read. Now no-one will touch your work. You can’t even get into an anthology because the cowards included are worried they might be maligned as well.
What was it all about anyway? Oh yeah, you asked for financial help so you could continue writing and also not end up homeless.
You’re passion has waned. It’s a cold world and the inhabitants are heartless. Who cares if you finish a series? Unfortunately, the five people asking you to finish the third book just aren’t enough of a bolster to get back to the ten hour days. Besides, at this point you have to find real work, or you will be homeless in ninety days.
You’ve come to realize you really don’t matter. It’s not sad, it’s just the honest truth. You are alone and nothing you’ve produced matters at all. Your plight is not even as significant as a major coffee house changing their cups for the holiday season. And then you realize, if this is your audience and supposedly your people, you really want nothing to do with any of them.
Alone is great! Oh, and by the way, none of them deserve the gems of your intellect and imagination. None of them deserve anything you’ve ever produced, and you sure as hell won’t kill yourself producing more. And you sure as hell won’t spend thousands on giveaways when you only got one out of a hundred to even post a review.
You always knew you didn’t fit in this society, but now you own it, and you leave it. You leave it and you don’t look back. You’re over it.