Some kind of ADDICTION
Jahzeel Dionne V. Ybasco
They say that in order to forget about an old addiction, you have to find a new one.
I have to be honest. About a year ago, a mania took over me: marketing my book. I remember juggling the scanty breaks I had to memorize Hiragana, Katakana and Kanjis and promote To Be Continued. Trolling Goodreads, Amazon, and even Book Review sites, I sent hundreds of emails to a number of people to read and review my book. The hunger was real–I just had to find that one person who could say something good about my baby, and then another, and another. It all became too much until I could not recognize who I was anymore. Such was the life of an amateur self-published Author.
Then, one of my first acquaintances in publishing wrote a blog about how he turned out to be a Marketing Agent and not a writer. I was ashamed of myself when I figured out, I had been living the same kind of life for a number of weeks–not that there was something wrong about being an Agent because there is none; it was just a path I did not choose to take. I was so preoccupied with marketing my book, getting rejected, nursing my broken heart, getting positive feedback, feeling over the moon–in that cycle– I did not even have time to write a chapter for my next novel. “Nobody stops being a writer” and it was so embarrassing to stop caring about doing what I loved just because I wanted to look for someone who would read the first product of my sleepless toils.
Depression hit me hard. Not as hard as some people in the world to drive me to insanity and cut people from my life. The better term I guess for this was frustration. Was I trying to get famous? Believed me when I say I laughed a hollow one because I had not even thought about that. I enjoyed how words and stories weave inside my head, flow through my fingertips and stain my paper and I still do. Was it wrong to share that creativity to the world? No it was not. What my biggest mistake was I forgot that I had started writing for myself, without having any regard to what people might say about my works. I bore my first children in Fanfiction.Net and let them roam around freely, and whether readers found them interesting or boring I charged every review to my experience. Why was it more difficult to let go of my novel then? When my thoughts could not reach beyond this boundary, I told myself, it was about time to put my pen down and look for other things that could inspire writing again. I needed a distraction.
Another whirlwind of addiction came and it swept me away with it. I got in touch with Foreign music again, a reminder why I started blogging in the first place, Music. Getting busy because I enjoyed Japanese and Korean music helped boost my enthusiasm in learning 日本語. I could pick up words and even write faster in Japanese. At last, there was something I could do so easily!
The plus side of it all was I learned to enjoy making friends online which I honestly find difficult to do in real life. It was so much easier creating an alter ego whose persona nobody could judge. There were challenging moments because nobody could pierce through the shield called internet. It was difficult to love wholeheartedly and receiving love came with a tinge of insincerity. The people I chose and who chose me in return were different though. I could not help but trust them.
Then, I decided to give my online friends copies of my book. Little did I know that this could put more pressure on me. A piece of me could be judged–what is even worse was the idea that they would not read nor judge it all because it was mine and they would rather have a great relationship with whom they thought I was–another image that I built to protect myself. I laid myself bare, subject to scrutiny.
I was back to square one. Before I knew it, I started getting busier, trying to forget what these people might say about me or my book. The internet proved to be a good distraction once more because I was able to see book review jobs~~I could review novels and get copies of them for free. It was perfect. I barely had enough time to worry about the addictions that became too much to bear. However, I missed those who gave me a reason to be more accommodating in social networks. Yes, I could listen to the group we follow, I could buy the rest of the CDs, I could have followed the group without interacting with them but to my surprise I couldn’t. It was not as fun.
I can conclude my blog here, in a state of depression… or hopelessness, whatever I want to call it. However, comes with it is an anticipation of acceptance and that is what I am addicted to.
Seriously, I think I need a rehab.