Thursday, August 24, 2006
1) I think it’s hilarious that some people seem to have concluded that I am now rich. I’m not.
2) Some people have accused me of being a ‘sell-out’ because I’m a blogger who got a book deal. These same people are also, funnily enough it seems, gullible, and think that newspapers speak the ‘truth’; believing everything that has been printed about me. And they’re calling me naïve…
3) It strikes me as ridiculous, some of the speculation around my being ‘outed’. I had nothing to do with it; I was utterly shocked, not to mention devastated, when it happened. I don’t know how my real name got out; I’ll never know for sure.
4) I was stunned when the newspaper that serialised my book, also ran an exposé naming me, just three weeks later. One might assume they would have some allegiance, given that they had paid (a tiny sum, the tight wads), to extract my book, but clearly not. Being an author, I had absolutely no say in them being able to buy the extracts; but as a blogger, I have complete freedom in being able to slag them off. So, yes, for the record, I do think they are backstabbing bastards.
5) What has given me loads of joy, are the 100+ of you, who emailed me, to tell me you had cancelled your subscriptions to the newspaper as protest at the gutter tabloid-type ‘journalism’ of that piece, and that you wouldn’t be purchasing the paper again. And also, the many of you who wrote letters of complaint to the editor – thank you so much. I knew they wouldn’t print the letters, the spineless arseholes, but it made me happy to know that so many people felt angered enough to complain.
6) Contrary to what many (especially in ‘mainstream media’) might believe, not all bloggers aim, or even hope, to get published. I certainly didn’t. I’m very lucky that I did, but that was never my objective: I just wanted to voice my perspective on sex, because I didn’t see it represented elsewhere. I never thought that two and a half years later I’d have a book out because of my blog. It’s very odd to now see my voice all over the place; it’s both scary, and immensely gratifying.
7) If there are any bloggers who think writing a book is easy, let me tell you, it isn’t. My blog wasn’t ‘lifted’ and pasted into bound form as some might assume; whilst I did use some posts from it, I also had to write an entire book, with shitloads of new material, from start to finish. It took me four months of hard work to get it completed. And I was working on a movie at the same time, hence my doing 100-hour, seven-day, weeks - I almost crashed my car twice from exhaustion. So it’s not exactly ‘taking the money and running’, like some might think: you do have to work your arse off.
8) I challenge anyone to turn down approaches from publishers who are offering you the chance to reach a new, wider audience with your writing. Sure, we all blog for the love of writing, but decline the opportunity to write in another medium? I’m sure most would jump at the chance. As I did: I started the blog because I was frustrated about how female sexuality was presented; to then be able to reach another, more mainstream, market with my views, and not take up the opportunity to do so, would have been ignorant, I think. So I went for it, fought to present my writing in a sexually positive, progressive, feminist way, and now the end result is on the shelves. It was nice that I got paid for it, but I would have done it for free too.
9) Doing a book shouldn’t mean an automatic end to anonymity; many authors have remained nameless, their right to privacy respected. I tried, the best I could, to cover my tracks, to ensure my and others’ privacy was protected. Clearly I didn’t do enough.
10) Want to know some of the effects of losing my anonymity?
a) I no longer have a job in the film industry; there is no career safety net for me to fall back on. Potentially bad publicity, or salacious gossip that could damage a movie, isn’t something a producer wants surrounding a crew member on a film set – no-one would risk hiring me now. And no, that doesn’t mean I have enough dosh to retire on; being a freelancer, pensions (and sick pay) are things I have never encountered. But because of the book, I don’t have to worry about paying my rent for quite a while. Which is nice.
b) All my friends now know how often I masturbate, what turns me on, and how obsessed with sex I am.
c) As does everyone I’ve ever worked with in the film industry.
d) As do my cousins, aunts and uncles as well. Beat that. (Not literally. Yuck.)
e) My sex drive has gone kaput. Having something sleazy printed about me in a national newspaper, with photographers sitting on my and my parents’ doorstep didn’t make me horny, it made me stressed, anxious, and lack sleep for ten days.
f) I cannot write on the blog, as I once did. Right now, I don’t know how, or in what capacity, I can write on here again. Thanks very fucking much for outing me, you bastards.