That’s a pretty bold title for a blog post, I know. However, if you stick with me and read the entire post, you’ll see why it actually fits. I want to make sure that this post conveys the emotional roller-coaster ride that I’ve been on lately. I should warn you-- grab some coffee now... this is going to be a long one ;)
Over the course of the past two years, I’ve made a whole host of new friends in the writing community. I’m so very thankful for that. I’ve met writers, editors, graphic artists, PR people and the list goes on and on. I’ve also taken quite a bit of time to learn and hone different skills in the self publishing community and in some cases I’ve even discovered some of my new passions. Why am I telling you all this? Well, because of the skills that I've developed and the way that I was raised I reached out a helping hand to anyone and everyone I could.
You see, I had been burned and scammed by two previous publishers, so I had to learn a lot about every aspect of the publishing world. I needed to be thorough, but fast. At first, I started helping other authors that had been hurt by publishers-- left with broken dreams of being a writer and little to no hope of achieving that dream. I had been through that myself and overcame it and I wanted to help others overcome that hurdle. So, I did.
As time passed others came to me. I helped them as I had everyone else. It's in my nature-- who I AM. All the while I was getting a little behind in my own work. Some of those I helped would ask, "Kym, are you sure this won't hinder YOUR work?"
Of course, I said no. I could stay up a little later at night and finish my own work. No problem. I felt great inside. I was able to help people. (My parents were foster care parents. Helping others is in my blood.) Everything was fine. **Pay attention, here's where the story goes from all rainbows and unicorns to hell in a handbasket ;)**
After a couple of months, some of these authors stopped asking if it would hinder my work. They didn't care anymore. They would call me at a moment's notice and ask me to format a book, do a cover, make a graphic, walk them through THEIR story ideas-- I would tell them, "Now's not a good time. I have a LOT of catching up to do with my own writing. My fans are getting restless."
Did they care? No. They kept talking. They paid no attention to how they were treating someone they claimed as a friend. OR, was it just the way our society works now? Do for me. And, screw you! *Side note, by this point I was pulling my hair in clumps and crying silently. Always keep that tough girl candy coating. All the while your insides are oozing. Yep! That’s me*
Now, this is the part in this story that I should have put my foot down and said... NO! My work comes first, but... *see how the doormat thing plays into this?* I didn't. I continued to help them. I was never paid. I never asked for payment. These were my friends? *yeah, right.* They got what they wanted and needed from me and walked. Only bothering to contact me when they were once again in need-- which became FAR too often for me to even take a pee without someone asking me to just wait and pee later...
So, that brings us to today. I have put the "Closed" sign on my door of helping people. Those few bad eggs have rotted everything for everyone else. They've ruined the ease with which I once trusted people. So, please DON'T send me emails, private messages, instant messages, text messages or anything else asking for my help. I won't do it. For that, I'm sorry. It HONESTLY hurts my heart. I don’t like NOT helping people. MY family always said I should have been a social worker... (Hmm, new career path, maybe?)
The one constant statement made about Self-Publishing 101 is the genuine care that people see from Jenn and I towards our fans/followers--- know why? Because, we do. But, Self-Publishing is the ONLY way I can/will help anyone from this point forward. This experience cut me so deeply that I seriously considered walking away from writing altogether. I’m not. But, I’d be lying if I told you that I hadn’t considered going underground never to be heard from again. *Aww, you’re stuck with me, LOL*
I don't want sympathy. Please don’t comment on this post, but Kym you’re amazing and etc... but I also don't want people to say, "Well, Kym's a bitch because she won't help!" You go through what I did and tell me that you would still trust people. I can't. So, if you can, then you're a better person than me. Good luck with that!
Now, I’m headed into the batcave to do something that I haven’t for a very long time! I’m mapping out how I’m going to decorate my new palace during my world domination tour ;)