Good morning, people
Hope you are all doing good. I am, and I hope, and plan, to do better.
This is a very important notice because an era is about to come to an end… finally.
Many of you know many things about me, because I have shared them with you, and I shared, because I wanted you to know something of the woman behind the words I write.
So, you know I am now 40. You also know I am a full-time Fiction Writer and blogger. And you know I have been writing since I was 13.
27 years of writing fiction and absolutely nothing to show for it. Not good to hear, right?
But that is my reality.
Yesterday, on Facebook, I read another writer’s post and after reading his words, I said to myself, it is time to stop this foolishness.
He said in his post that he is 26. I am 40. I’ve writing longer than he’s been on planet earth. But you know what? He’s probably achieved more than I have as a writer.
And it is not just him. There are a hoard of young writers out there doing so much more. But what am I doing?
What am I doing?
Giving my time and talent for free and having people who think they own that time and talent walk all over me and all over my space.
It is enough!
I never wanted this: To be a free-read writer. I never wanted to be a self-published author. But that is what I am: A self-published author who has more stories offered for free and not appreciated enough.
Today, I say it is enough.
When I thought of becoming a blogger in 2012 and Michael and I discussed things, I thought of a blog where lifestyle and relationships will be talked about. Hence, Life and Spices. I only planned on sharing excerpts of stories I planned on publishing and short stories every now and then.
But I missed my way, started on a different journey and put myself in a place where I would constantly feel drained and unappreciated.
Two friends just reminded me lately I should focus more on what pays. I call this amazing young man and woman friends not because I’ve met them but because they think of me. They think of what is good for me, not just what they can get from me, or out of me.
There are people like that. And there are those who only think of their pleasure and do not care what it cost others.
It does not matter to me which you are. Today, I am telling you, every one of you, it is enough, I am done writing free-reads. I am done writing long-length novelettes, novellas and novels… and giving it out for free-reading.
No one cares how much it cost me to write Un-Break My Heart or The Marriage Ultimatum or Mercenary Wife. No one cares how raped and robbed I feel as a writer seeing my works plagiarised and spread online without permission and due recognition.
No one cares that I could have earned money, no matter how little, if I published and sold those stories.
No one. And don’t say you do if you’ve never cared to contact and share that thought with me. Don’t say you do.
But I am not casting blame here. There is no need to. You are not to blame. I gave and you took.
Now, I will no longer give… Not for free. And you will only take, when you can pay.
It’s been a thankless job.
Many of you think you own me, own my talent and own my time. You think as a blogger, you are doing me a favour by visiting my blog. So, you demand that I placate you and treat you like royalty, whilst you deign to offer me your all-important comments when it so pleases you
I remember, after the release of For Better, For Worse, how a reader here told me that I should be begging you all to buy my eBook not making demands.
That is what I am expected to do. A Fiction Writer is supposed to beg readers to buy her/his works.
Beg. How dehumanizing!
I told her I would never beg. Her name was Juliet, I think. Or something close to that.
I said I would not beg. But there have been times when I have been desperate enough to do so.
Today, that too will end and cease to be.
We are talented people, gifted people, workers, hardworking, diligent, dedicated and determined to succeed. All of us Fiction Writers are. We deserve respect, we deserve honour, we deserve our works to be rightly critiqued and appreciated.
We deserve to get paid for the work we do.
How many of you work for free, huh?
How many of you do the work you do for free and take cheap praises and half-hearted thanks home as your wages?
Possibly, no one of you.
So, why are we different? Why am I different? Because I’m a writer? A self-published author? A blogger?
Today, I say it’s enough.
Nigerians, and the whole wide world, stop doing this to us! We deserve more. We deserve better. We should get paid too!
Am I not a good enough writer?
Am I not good enough that you would put your money on me?
Why take and take and take and not willing to give anything back?
Many of you have been asking for Ndubuisi, for One More Time… And Forever, for No Perfect Life?
No one asks of TM David-West.
I put up a post and gave explanations but you don’t care to read it. No, you don’t care to read unless it’s a story.
Well, it is now over.
The era of free-reads has come to an end.
I am no longer willing to write long-length stories and serve it to you on a platter of gold.
If it is dues, then I have paid them. I have paid my dues. Should I list them? Should I count the number of free-reads I’ve put out there and given out without a dime paid or a dime earned from any means?
There is no need to. We all, if we are honest, know how many they are. The purpose of them had seemed that many would know my style, appreciate my work and purchase when I publish for sale.
But that has not worked. I am one of the least selling authors of my calibre. Shame!
Shameful and sad.
And it proves that free-reads don’t sell a writer. Free-reads only make “free-readers” think they never have to pay to read your work.
Took me time to wise up, but finally, I know better.
Dear people of Life and Spices blog, I am done with this era. You will never again read a long-length story written by me that is for free. Not ever again.
And I will counsel other writers not to spend too much time on free-reads. They don’t pay.
I will never again be offering any of my services for free. You want consultation from me? You pay a consultation fee. You want me to mentor you? You pay a mentorship fee.
You want me to critique your work? You pay a critic’s fee. You want me to edit and proofread your work? You pay for those services.
I am a worker, and a worker deserves her wages.
As always, I would thank those who’s walked this journey with me. I appreciate all your presence with me.
I am still a blogger. Life and Spices is still here. I just need to decide what to do with it. But it’s still here.
But as a Fiction Writer, I am taking my time on the works I am doing. I am, after all, TM David-West and only the very best should be expected of me. I am good and talented like that *winks*
So… It’s no more free-reads and welcome to the new era.
I will be removing most of my stories from the blog. Only a very few will be left. And as for Ndubuisi, OMTAF, NPL and maybe others, when I’m done writing them, we will publish and sell.
Meanwhile, I am in dire need of a Promoter. I need someone to promote TM David-West and her works. Not for free. I, too, no longer want free services.
Or maybe it is an agent I need?
Thank you, if you read this, and may God give us all wisdom to know our right pathways.