I wanted to share this small guide with you that comes from my own personal experience in terms of navigating one’s way through stress and negativity within the community. Sometimes, we encounter inner-issues of conflict, especially if you’re like me, having suffered from low self-esteem, when it comes to the million-dollar question that we authors ask ourselves whenever we publish a story. How well is it doing or how many reads is it getting?
This used to be a question I asked myself from time to time, at times often feeling discouraged, and letting my discouragement carry me to places I never realized could be considered unhealthy. For one, I have never been the type of person to cause drama or look to stir a bee’s nest so that it could swarm, I’ve always been quiet and am used to being silent and invisible, but after being a featured author and having a story that didn’t do as well as I had hoped, I started to take my frustration out on the community, even looking at some of the authors who had been there before me with a larger following and wondering why they didn’t do more to help the community.
After making a comment, I was hit with a lot of backlash as you can imagine, with some being overzealous and overly expressive outright asking me, “if I wanted more handouts.” After feeling hurt, I had an epiphany and realized to an extent they were right.
Rule Number One to Happiness in the community - Don’t look to place blame on others, particularly the bigger authors, for the disappointment you feel you facing when it comes to the reads you are receiving on your story. Further, if your sole purpose for creating stories on Episode is to “gain reads” then more times than likely you will end up being sadly disappointed. Remember, that this app is only a game. No one is getting paid for this, unless you’ve been signed on as an official Episode author, and even though it would be nice to gain the recognition you feel you deserve, you have to be patient and be willing to put in the work you feel will help to get you where you’d like to be, but above all remember that writing or creating should be your biggest passion for what you do, not how many reads you can gain out of it. Also, the “bigger” authors are just that. Authors, except with more of a larger fan-base. They are not Episode gods. They don’t have the power to grow your story overnight just by them posting it on their page.
Secondly, (Rule Number Two) acknowledge the community for at times being what it is, a place with millions of people with millions of different personalities, some with larger egos than others. I say this as I used to be one of the ones who struggled with the “unfollows” that I would get sometimes from authors on IG that I once did a r4r with who started out in just the same place as me, but after getting larger decided to unfollow me even after I had been talking to them and admiring their work. For whatever reason, I would always feel hurt, as I’ve never been one to unfollow a person unless or until they unfollow me, but in this community you have to have a thick skin and understand that not everyone has the same personality as you, so naturally not everyone will operate the same way you do. Some people only follow others to bring some sort of awareness to their page, story, etc. and once they get what they’re looking for, they keep it moving. This should not offend anyone, it doesn’t make you a lesser person. Just unfollow the person back, if you feel that’s what you’d like to do, and keep it moving yourself. One less follower on IG is not going to knock your hustle and you shouldn’t let it stop your shine.
Rule Number Three - Surround yourself with positive, uplifting, and encouraging people. These should be people who you can consider your friends. In this community, at times, this can be hard to find, but there will always be people out their who will genuinely enjoy your story as there is something on the app for everyone. After a while and doing several r4rs in the community, I made some really great, wonderful, supportive and genuine friends within the community. Friends who are very supportive, excited about my story as much as I am excited about theirs, and who genuinely look out for me. To me, it’s hard to stay afloat without the support of others behind you, so it’s always helpful to make friends. It doesn’t have to be a whole stadium of people, but it could be even as little as a handful or two, that have got your back and are people who you can count on to be there for you as much as you can be there for them.
Rule Number Four - Meditate. Pray (if you are religious and/or spiritual) and take time to dedicate yourself to an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. Take some time off IG if you have to, or take some time away from coding. It’s always good to focus on your mental health before deciding to hop back into writing again.
I post this as a means of encouragement to those in the community who have felt they have had a hard time on their journey when it comes to recognition and interacting with others on Episode. Please feel free to comment the ways that you feel you can stay afloat and remain content. I have only shared my opinions based on my personal experience, these are not hard facts, just only what I feel has been helpful to me since I have joined the community.