I have several apologies to make, so I’m going to put them all in one post. Let me start off by saying that I acknowledge that it’s my fault. Not in a nihilistic sort of a way, but in the sort of way that, ultimately, my choices were my own and I’m therefore responsible for them. Making excuses about circumstances does nothing other than make me feel like I’ve strengthened my position, and therefore undermine how you see me. Determinism, while useful as an ethical thought experiment, doesn’t leave enough room for accountability.
Firstly, I’m sorry for my sporadic posting. I didn’t figure out how to make org plans and editorial calendars when I first started this site, and after a while it seemed a bit redundant to do that kind of planning work. However, popular wisdom holds that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I guess I kinda planned to fail.
Because of that mistake, I didn’t have a brand identity. I didn’t have an underlying structure to fall back on when the person who plagiarised my org idea and original web copy did that. I forgot that I was supposed to be serving my reader – you – and allowed myself to be sucked into the abyss of resentment and disenfranchisement. That built up the pressure in the Aquifer of Rage until pretty much everyone within striking distance was a target.
Quick side note: I have bipolar mood disorder. One of the symptoms of BMD is that I have an aquifer of irrational rage in my unconscious that can erupt at any moment. It’s a bit like Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park, except less chronologically predictable. As with normal aquifers, it’s possible to pump water into it from the surface. Instead of having it out with someone when I start getting irritated by them, my habit is to just pump those feelings down into the Aquifer of Rage. Instead of publishing screenshots of her website and mine to give evidence of the theft, I changed my web copy and stewed about her wrongdoing. It’s taken me several decades of being symptomatic of this illness to get to the point of regular meditation for a prolonged period, and therefore being able to recognise when I’m erupting and withdraw to re-find the centre.
I’m sorry I lost sight of the overarching goal of serving my reader. I’m sorry I let my resentment blow me off course. I’m sorry I moved out of compassion and service, and therefore away from my values. I was wrong. Several creativity podcasts I’ve been listening to recently have talked about the primacy of service. In my re-structure, I’ve made serving the reader one of the priorities of this org.
If you’re one of the people I’ve taken that rage out on, I’m really sorry that I hurt your feelings. Doing what Brené Brown calls “displacing unpleasant emotions” is a destructive and, if we’re honest, immature way of dealing with feelings. I’m sorry I did that to you. If you would like a personalised apology, please contact one of the Sisterhood social media accounts’ inbox, and explain how I hurt you. I’ll reply and take responsibility for my actions. If you feel like I need to make restitution to you, please include suggestions of what would make you feel vindicated.
Some of the spewing of my rage was directed towards men who were giving me PR tips to improve feminism. In a way, I’m sorry I’m not sorry. This form of mansplaining has grated the carrots of feminists around the world since the movement began, and the criticisms (certainly the ones directed at me) often take the form of tone policing and gaslighting, and betray a fundamental misunderstanding of what feminism is trying to achieve. On the other hand, I am sorry. Titan TV writer, Shonda Rimes, has a practice, when the men in charge of the studio give her silly notes on her scripts (eg. “Can’t Christina and Meredith just hug each other?”), of just saying, “mm-hmm?” and letting the silence hang until they explain what they mean in a way that she can adjust for in the script. I should have done that instead of blowing up at y’all. I’m really sorry.
To Sebastian Vettel, Joe Saward, and Max Verstappen (hopefully I’ve pinged all y’all’s Google Alerts by printing your full names), I’m sorry for serving you each a slice of revenge pie. I was wrong to shame you publicly for comments that you made from a place of unconscious bias rather than active malice. At least, I think, looking back, that your comments are biased rather than intentionally abusive. I set a bad example to my readers.
I’m sorry for name-calling and pathologising. Even if it wasn’t directed at you personally, I’m sorry. Judgement is an unpleasant thing to be around, and I’m sorry I’ve been that person. After reading up on the motivations of internet trolls, I became confident that anyone who was a jerk on social media scored high on one of the Dark Triad personality traits. Researcher/storyteller, Brené Brown, talks at length in her work about how judgement undermines trust. Peacemaker, Marshall Rosenberg, talks at length about how judgement gets in the way of peacemaking.
I’m sorry I walked away from my authenticity. I became so convinced of my rightness that I lost sight of my moral responsibilities. The Bible (my sacred text of tradition and choice) says things like “in your anger, do not sin” and “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly.” The amount of resentment I pumped into my well of emotion (and was therefore tapping in my writing) was the opposite of humility, mercy, justice, and not sinning.
In light of the mistakes I’ve made that necessitated the last five paragraphs of apology, I’m re-directing my editorial policy to aim for compassion. I can’t guarantee I’ll hit compassion every time. I’m pretty sure only people like Oprah and the Dalai Lama achieve that consistently. However, if the social media analysis projects have taught me anything, it’s that we as a society need to let go of our need to be right and operate from compassion. Megan Phelps Roper, who left Westboro Baptist Church, talks about how she was raised to believe that rightness justifies rudeness. I think, if Twitter’s current vibe is any indication, that most of us were raised to think that.
A side-effect of my lack of a post-plagiarism org plan has been that all my ideas for money making were scrambled. I had ideas for events, services, and products, which were all swiped in the plagiarism, meaning that, if I did them, I’d look like the copy-cat. Internet marketing guru, Gary Vaynerchuk, says that there’s no prize for originality in entrepreneurship. Author of “High Performance Habits,” Brendon Burchard, says that creativity and originality aren’t strongly correlated with sustained high performance. All due respect to them, creativity is a value of mine, and I don’t feel good about myself when I churn out mediocre, derivative junk. It may not strongly predict my success, but, for better or worse, it’s part of my identity.
It’s taken me disproportionately long to get out of my head and create something of value for you, dear reader. Because of that, I’ve been ineffective, because I’ve had no money in the org with which to do things. I’m currently behind on payments to several people including, and I need to apologise for that. I’m really sorry I let my mental blocks get in the way of being an effective org. The lack of organisational finance has absolutely not been serving you, my reader.
I’ve made a book. It’ll be on pre-order from 19th April, 2018. It’s about consent, and my chosen subject matter is a huge part of why I need to make this series of apologies. In the process of writing it, I’ve realised how many mistakes I’ve been making in terms of being aligned with my values (and how long I've been misaligned with my values! Wow!), and therefore how much undoing I need to do. I’ve built some free products into the marketing plan, so if you’re short on funds you’ll still have access to the information. But the book (and associated offerings) is to make a fund big enough to effectively serve my readership. To build that fund with a clear conscience, I need to stay in my integrity. To be in my integrity, I need to make amends for past wrongdoing. If you'll give me a second chance, I would like to make good on it.
Je suis désolé, mes chéries.