What more do you want?
Last weekend I was at the Britmums conference and I attended a seminar entitled “Shouting Back: Women’s voices loud, proud & online”. In it we heard how easy it is [for celebrities like Katy Hill] to “make a difference” just by tweeting occasionally. At the end I had the opportunity to ask a question of the esteemed panel and I so I explained what I do and asked if they had any tips about keeping motivated for those of us trying to raise awareness day in and day out online when it feels like our voices are just lost. I was helpfully informed by the aforementioned celeb that what I ought to do to raise awareness about hyperemesis gravidarum is “write a blog post about your experience of the condition and how it’s the thing Kate Middleton suffered with…. And then, like… tweet it!”, Easy!!!
Well, I left the seminar utterly demotivated, insulted and frankly enraged but as the rest of the conference went on and I attended other, better, seminars I felt my mojo return and by the end of the conference I was enthusiastic about returning home to further my awareness raising blog efforts and launch my kids book.
But then, on Tuesday, I launched my book. And it flopped… spectacularly.
It seems that I have utterly misjudged the HG community and the market for women suffering the condition. The market research I had done before launch had reassured me that there was demand and people would buy it… but they didn’t. On the day of launch I sold an incredible 3 books. Just 3!! Despite a strategic marketing effort, press releases, targeted mailing lists and direct access to the bulk of the world’s HG online community.
And then the community turned on me… a post was deleted because it was deemed as “selling”. People questioned my motives and how much money was going to the charities. There were questions over why it wasn’t free for women with HG.
And I cried. And cried and cried… then I had a margarita cocktail and some prosecco and cried some more.
And then I decided I was done and would wave goodbye to the HG world.
But that was 2 days ago and I’ve calmed down a little since, although my eyes are still puffy from tears. I may still carry on blogging, or I may not… I haven’t decided.
I probably ought to cut my losses and get an actual job to maintain my sense of self-worth and earn some money. I might return to practice nursing or maybe look at the district. But I so wanted to generate a modest income from this blog in order to keep it going and to be able to keep funding all the work I do for hyperemesis improvement around the UK and the world – I don’t get paid remember! I invested heavily in producing two books which I genuinely thought women wanted and would help them. But as I discovered…
The HG Community want me for free!
It’s ironic isn’t it… I’ve spent so much of my time making sure women with HG are not alone, yet it’s the HG community which has left me feeling alone and abandoned.
I do get messages of thanks and support and hope from women who I’ve helped and I deeply appreciate them. I print most of them off and look at them to remind myself why I am putting so much personal time, money, blood sweat and tears into trying to improve care and treatment for families with hyperemesis. But the attacks are also frequent, the accusations that we’re not doing enough, the constant stream of spam, the constant frustration that there are people working against us, the constant defence I have up for our community. And my voice feels weak… I don’t have enough support from the women I have supported and it’s gutting.
Right, pity party over…. I’ve said my piece. I’ll cheer up in a few days I expect and get a renewed vigour to start flogging these bloody books!!