Hey, fellow humanoids, cats in disguise, or whatever you might be.
Some of you have expressed varying degrees of disappointment that I am a human with feelings. That I shouldn’t rant because someone (who isn’t me) might have their feelings hurt, or that I am behaved badly for having feelings and daring to express them.
Don’t feel you have to reply to this. It’s not really a rant, per se, but it is a reminder of reality.
I often get thank you letters from those who are appreciative that my books provide an escape. (You’re very welcome, and thank you for writing in. I often lack the energy to reply to the notes, but Jenny sends them to me, I see them, and they’re very appreciated!)
I’m mentally ill. (Anxiety and depression and SAD.) I recognize openly discussing this will make some people uncomfortable. I’m not expressing myself to make anyone comfortable. I am medicated for these things, but medicated doesn’t mean “immediately or even ever fixed.”
There are people with worse anxiety and depression than I have. That doesn’t make my problems less real. There are people with lesser grades of anxiety and depression than I have. That doesn’t make their anxiety or depression any less real.
It is not a competition. So, if you have a loved one who has one of these terrible disorders or illnesses, don’t discount someone for not having the exact same thing you do.
It’s easy to do that. (And it’s not right.)
I’m expressing myself for those of you who are also mentally ill, who are also chronically ill, or who are otherwise ostracized for being different have somewhere they can go and see there is someone just like them–someone who isn’t afraid to let people know the anxiety won, the challenges of depression, or the struggles with physical health.
I put myself out because I don’t want to be shoved in a closet anymore than anyone else does.
On a happier but related note…
Today, I did this thing. I got on my little torture device, and I made it go vroom vroom (sound effects by yours truly) without actually going anywhere while seated at my desk.
I had convinced myself 7-9 minutes had been my limit.
I decided I needed to see what my limit actually was. I didn’t push too hard. I set a good, easy, and stable pace, one that got my heart rate to elevate enough to count as exercise–and a pace that would not cause injury.
I hit 10 minutes, had to pause the timer to fix the stupid ass bike because I got what I paid for, so I have to tighten it every 10 minutes, but I got back on and continued to 20 minutes. (It was like a 20 seconds breather to fix the bike.)
I went in expecting failure. I came out with unexpected success.
That’s depression in a nutshell.
I always go in expecting failure.
Depression isn’t just feeling sad all the time or something like that. Sometimes, it’s not feeling anything at all. But then suddenly, something trips the trigger, and then you feel everything again.
Then you feel overwhelmed. You have a sink full of dishes. Your apartment looks like an episode of hoarders. Everyone needs something from you, and you can’t even get the basics situated.
The cycle begins again.
You feel nothing… and then you feel overwhelmed.
It is not comfortable to watch, getting a first-hand look at the consequences of mental illness. It’s also not comfortable to watch consequence, period.
I suspect a bunch of people are uncomfortable right now because I have brought to light how good intentions can do a great deal of harm to someone–someone they never meant to harm.
But here’s the thing.
Your good intentions don’t mean anything when those intentions harm the person you meant to help.
And that hurts like fucking hell to face.
Why? It’s simple. You have to apologize, even when you don’t feel you have done something wrong. You were doing a good act, right? Why should you have to apologize for doing something good?
It’s not good if it hurts someone, that’s why.
It sucks having to swallow back the resentment and tell someone you’re sorry they were hurt by your actions.
I’ve done it numerous times throughout my career.
I will not apologize for something my characters said or did that hurt your feelings, though. I have had readers slide into messages (when I still had them open) informing me my characters did a hurtful thing to them and they didn’t appreciate it, and that they wanted an apology.
No. I am not my characters, and the things my characters say or do are what they would say or do. I will not apologize for telling a story that made you uncomfortable.
For example, someone who genuinely meant well became upset that a character stated they were going to adopt because they couldn’t have kids of their own.
That is what the character said. Some people who adopt or have been adopted do not appreciate this choice of words.
I get that.
But that is what the character would say. That was the society that character was brought up in. I am not going to make the characters puppets that fit your perfect world or your view of political correctness.
I have characters who say racist things.
I will not erase racism from my novels.
I will not erase abuse from my novels.
I will not erase reality from my novels.
I will have characters who use words most would rather not hear.
These are reflections of the character, not me. I am not my characters.
I have plenty of characters who follow political beliefs I don’t particularly care for.
I have characters who adhere to religious practices I don’t agree with, too.
Guess what? I jump the fence whichever direction I feel because I am looking to tell a good story. Some societal elements just come bundled with great conflict.
That’s why they’re used.
I take things I like and put them over the top and turn them into evil things all the time.
(Can your assumptions over my political orientation. I promise you that you’re just fucking wrong on anything you assume about me. Unless we sat down and had a chat about it, you have no idea what my stances are.)
I twist things I like into evil things all the time. I also vilify things I don’t like in equal measure.
In short, unless I directly told you what I feel about a subject, you don’t know, so don’t act like you do.
I can tell you the one thing you DO know: I am human.
I have human feelings.
I have human tendencies.
I do human things.
When upset, I will express those feelings, especially to the audience that created the source of upset.
Am I saying that everyone or even many of you did the hurtful thing?
No. But if I do not tell you that this is hurtful, it will never change.
Once I tell you, “this thing is hurtful, please stop” should you continue to do the hurtful thing, that is on you. It is no longer on me.
Fool me once, shame on me…
Fool me twice, shame on you…
Hurt me once, and I don’t speak up… that’s on me.
But hurt me twice, and I did speak up… that’s on you.
I am human, and I would like to be treated like I am a human.
I make mistakes. I express myself for the good and the bad. I don’t want to be shoved in a corner because I make people uncomfortable. I don’t want to exist solely to make other people happy, slaving away at writing books meant to entertain and bring joy… while expected to sit in a corner and pretend everything is fine and perfect.
Many of you do want to escape. Many of you do mean well.
But I am human, and that means that I’m not going to be able to act like everything is fine and perfect. I am human, and that does mean I’m not going to always make you comfortable or happy.
I am human, and that means you get an entire package, good and bad.
If you don’t want the entire package, I really encourage you to sign up for bookbub. You will be notified of new releases when they come out, and you can maintain your distance without having to see the whole picture. You can just enjoy the books. You can find my other author aliases on bookbub as well. Bookbub is the place to go if you want to follow an author without having to face the fact they are human.
But on my page and my website, I am allowed to be human. I am allowed to express myself. If you don’t like what I say, I pay the consequence for that when you leave and find someone more suiting your personal taste.
If you don’t like what I say and decide to sever the relationship, well, that’s also a consequence because my page and my blog are my space.
You don’t have to like what I say. You don’t have to listen to what I say, either.
But I am human, and those spaces are mine. I am not one dimensional, existing solely to improve your world. Do I enjoy improving the world of those around me?
But, with the good comes the bad, and I am not going to sit in a corner and shut up solely because I make people uncomfortable just from being human.
The reality is, the reporting of typos to Amazon has directly harmed me. It has agitated my mental illness. It has literally made me sick on numerous occasions. It is, error by error, destroying my health.
It is a problem created by a corporation that created a tool to “improve” their marketplace.
I didn’t hire Amazon to edit my books. I didn’t hire readers to edit my books, either.
If you used the tool thinking you were doing good… you now know it doesn’t do good. People who come to my page have been told time and time again to please stop using the tool, it causes harm.
Accepting responsibility for hurting someone, even when you meant to do good, sucks. It just does.
On a happier note, some of the kickstarter swag game in. Yes, that is a branded pocket journal with a pen.
Alas, the company sent me some for a different company… with my pen on them. I will have to talk to them. I’m a little puzzled how this error happened, but this sort of thing happens in marketing.
And yes, I do like this color combination. It brings me joy. The pen isn’t the best it could be, but I really like the little purse/pocket journal, and so I had a bunch made for kickstarter people.
I hope that those who contributed to the kickstarter like this little prize that will find its way into boxes.
For those who stayed to listen… thank you.
For those who didn’t, that’s all right, too.
Have a good day. I must go write in to a company asking why I have journals from an air conditioning company that are partnered with my pens. Oy, oy, oy.