I probably shouldn't be telling you these things, but here I am doing it anyway.
Let's get one thing clear—I'm not saying I'm shutting down the blog. Oh, I've thought about it often, especially since I sold my book, which is rather ironic since maybe now is the best time to have a blog and network. But there's been...a shift. People treat me differently now, and not always in a good way. It's strange how once you "get there," people tend to think you go deaf/blind and they can say whatever they want about you, true or untrue, sometimes cruel.
I never really saw it coming. I mean, I saw it happen to people who got Major Book Deals, but I didn't think it would happen to me. My deal was average. My book is debuting in paperback even. Maybe I never mentioned that, but it is. Don't get me wrong—I am VERY happy with my circumstances. I just never expected that they would have such an effect on people's perspective of me.
Because I'm still the same person. I say what I've always said, and yet now people view it differently. It's so weird, and some days it's no big deal, while other days I feel like everything I thought I knew about people and the internet and publishing has been erased.
I feel very...exposed, though at the same time I have closed off more of myself than ever. And I have this compulsion to continue that, to protect myself from the impending onslaught of judgment. Frankly, it scares the crap out of me.
And so the thought of blogging for 2 more years before my book even gets out there has become this overwhelming monster. What will I talk about? I've seen people lash out at my friends for the smallest things, and that's what I have coming. People will roll their eyes at my pathetic attempts to promote. They will read ARCs and say mean things and I will be a baby unable to handle it—and of COURSE they will @ me on Twitter with their 1 star reviews just to make sure I see what a horrible job I've done.
The internet used to be fun. Right now? It kinda hurts, and I've barely begun.
I honestly don't know what to do. I wish I did. Writing stuff like this helps me feels better, though now if I do I get viewed as ungrateful and whiny. As much as I want to shut down the blog and go all J.D. Salinger, a part of me still wants to participate in this community as well. I'm trying to figure out if there's a way to have my cake and eat it, too. Maybe there isn't. Maybe I just have to deal with the bad stuff and try to focus on the good. Maybe I'll have to go a little AWOL and only show up at random. Maybe I'll have to do something really crazy, like sign up for Tumblr.
There's one thing I've been wanting to do for a long time, and that's take down my follower count. I've always disliked that button, because it seriously changed the world of blogging when they added it. What used to be more of a community turned into kind of a popularity contest, and I dragged my feet even putting it up to begin with. But I wanted people to be able to follow if they wanted, so I relented. Now I'm thinking it's time to get rid of the number. Maybe it will help me remember the earlier blog days, and that I'm supposed to be doing this for fun.
Ahhh, I feel better already.