Well hey there, everybody! I left on a rather abrupt note, and I apologize for that. I also apologize for how disjointed and rambling all of this is going to sound, but it feels important to me and it does concern this blog and some changes that are coming up, so try to follow me here.
I have taken some stock in things. Some people were upset at the way I handled my conflict with another author. I’m at a weird intersection on this one. A part of me is like, “Oh no, I disappointed people,” and another part of me is so super glad that I disappointed people, because it made me take stock and recognize a role that I’ve been typecasting myself in. The Angry Young Man.
I started this blog back in 2007 or 2008, I think. That’s a long time ago. I didn’t start writing about Fifty Shades of Grey until 2011, but that’s when I think of this blog really beginning. Before those recaps, I was a total nobody. Worse than a nobody. I was a has-been. I was a failure. So, when I got mad about Fifty Shades of Grey and people got mad with me, I felt like, yes, I’m a voice, I’m giving people a good feeling of not being alone, we all hate this together, fuck the establishment! I felt like the scrappy underdog.
The thing is, at the end of the story, the scrappy underdog usually wins, and then it’s over. My books got moderately successful again, I felt like a somebody again, but I never took off the Angry Young Man persona. I didn’t even feel like it was necessary to take it off, even though every new success made it get a little tighter. But I had this new voice, and people listened to what I was saying, so when I saw people doing stupid shit and everyone just letting them get away with it, I was like, well, I can say something about that and people will know it’s happening!
That was my primary motivator. I saw a thing, I felt things about the thing, and I said things, because I was afraid that no one else could see the thing. And this was all because of three things that really were happening/had happened, that nobody could see. Those three things were my name, my bad experience with publishers, and my toxic friendship baggage.
Now I’ve tossed out the toxic baggage. I’ve already shared how I feel about publishing and my name. And you know what? Those were the things that were important to talk about. Those were the things I was afraid no one could see. And I put myself out there and got personal and said all the things I thought people weren’t seeing. I made those things seen.
Now, I don’t have that need anymore. Now that I don’t have that gnawing fear that some cosmic injustice might pass without other people seeing it, I don’t feel that need. I know I have a voice and that if something shitty happens to me again, this time, I can say something. And because of that, the thought of squeezing into this Angry Young Man costume is exhausting.
I’ve been blogging about Fifty Shades of Grey for five years now. Five years, three and a half books and a movie. Five years of getting thirty emails for every single news story about Fifty Shades of Grey that happened. Then she announced that second retelling from Christian’s POV and I was like…I don’t know. I don’t know if I have the strength. I’m going to be doing this forever. Someone once said that about me and E.L. James, that we were like Batman and The Joker, we’d be doing this forever. But I don’t want to do it forever. First, I was just yelling into the void in the hopes that people would hear me and see what a shit book it was. Then, I was doing it to entertain you (and because you guys bailed out my friends financially). After that, it was, unfortunately, my brand. It became my coworker who I really, really hated, but I liked my job so I had to keep associating with this coworker. Plus, I feel this really weird gratitude toward Fifty Shades, like I owe it to the franchise to keep my hatred of it at the forefront of my mind, because of all the good things I got from mocking it. Or something.
But I’m done with that. I know I’m going to lose some readers, but I hope you all understand that I’m just tired of hating. And the suit really is getting too small. Plus, with all of this nonsense about rape culture being at the forefront of the stupid presidential election, I just need a brain break from men who think they can assault women without consequence and women gleefully proclaiming that they’d be just fine with being assaulted. So much of that attitude is tied up in Fifty Shades of Grey and its reception, and I need a break. So, I’m not going to be doing the recaps anymore, and if I do any reporting on the franchise, it’s going to be very sparse.
The same with the Don’t Do This Ever posts. There’s a reason I haven’t been doing as many of those, and that’s simply because most of the time now, more important voices are covering things. It no longer feels like all of these things will go unseen, which was my driving fear in the first place. It’s pretty freeing once you realize that you don’t have to be personally involved in every bullshit thing that goes down online. That doesn’t mean I’m steering this tugboat toward Sunshine Sisterhood harbor. I’m not going to start espousing “Be Kind” in an attempt to keep people from talking about important issues. But I’m not going to don the Angry Young Man persona and go out there and get ’em anymore.
Now, the Buffy recaps? True Blood Tuesday? I’ll keep doing those because I love doing them. They bring joy and positivity into my world, and that’s what I’m trying to do more of. Not in a dopey-eyed, Sunshine Sisterhood of Keeping It Kind way. Making those posts about the toxic friendship did take something off of me. It did free me. And I’ve spent my week off not just from the blog, but from everything. I didn’t write if I didn’t feel like it. I focused on myself, on how I feel about stuff, and how I feel now that all of this giant, toxic, festering weight has been lifted. And I decided that overall, I want to be a more positive person. I want to focus on the good. I’m tired of being so cynical that I’m miserable all the time, especially when it’s at such odds with who I am as a person.
Again, that doesn’t mean that I’m going to start telling everyone to Be Nice and sweep things under the rug. I’ll still have stuff to say when saying stuff is warranted. Hopefully, I’ll still be interesting. If I’m not, well, then I guess I wasn’t interesting to start with, if I could only be interesting when talking about other people. And this won’t affect the publication of Say Goodbye To Hollywood. Although a lot of people are excited for it because of the satire aspect, at heart it’s a romance, and I’m not going to sacrifice what I think is a pretty cool love story.
I’m not quite sure why this feels like a goodbye letter. It’s not. I’ll still be here. Hell, I’ll have a True Blood Tuesday post tomorrow, and a Domestic Violence Awareness Month post on Wednesday. Maybe it’s because so much of this blog has been dedicated to Fifty Shades of Grey and drama, that it feels like I’m closing a door. But I know that I’m not, because I know that I have so much more wonderful strangeness in me that I can share without it being tied up with other people’s work and other people’s problems.
And while all of this seems sudden, it’s a change that’s been coming for a while. I’ve just been resisting it and trying to deny how tired I felt about it all lately. Seeing Billy Joel again in August really got the ball rolling. He opened with “Prelude/ Angry Young Man” and the words “I believe I’ve passed the age of consciousness and righteous rage” hit me hard. I really have passed the age of getting riled up about shit that ultimately won’t matter, especially when “life [goes] on no matter who was wrong or right.” And especially when the shit that does matter needs so much more energy.
So, if you’re leaving, I’ll miss you, and thank you for the support. If you’re staying, I can’t promise everything is going to be the same. Shit is going to get weird, but hopefully in a good, mutually beneficial way. And if you’re just interested in seeing me get fired up about stuff, there’s always Twitter. I’ll never not be mad on Twitter, and I’ll never not be RTing other people being mad.
Anyway, hope you all understand. Onward and upward.