This is as close to an Insecure Writers Support Group post as I'm going to get.
Writers.net is a site I've mentioned a few times. I had been a part of it for more than 10 years, though I took a few hiatuses during that time. Recently I finally got banned from the site and it's all because of my nemesis Jay Greenstein, though not in the way you might think.
There was this pretentious ass called "Choosybeggar" who posted a sample on the site. His sample was so dreadfully dull that I decided to have a little fun with him. So I took random stock quotes from Jay Greenstein's critiques and posted them to kind of "Rick roll" the dork. He got increasingly frustrated with each post.
Perhaps the funniest part is Jay Greenstein didn't get mad at me; he got mad at Choosybeggar for disputing his sage advice, even though that sage advice was being posted by someone else.
Eventually Choosybeggar began demanding that the moderator delete the thread. Only then would he leave. I never understand people who do that. It's not like anyone wants to steal your crappy story fragment. So for much of a Saturday afternoon we kept going back and forth. He was whining that people didn't critique his story the way he thought it should be critiqued, which was pretty funny. Gee, I wish I could decide how readers review my books. (Hint: they would all be 5-star raves.)
Anyway, I might have gotten away with my prank if it weren't for a meddling septuagenarian spilling the beans to Choosybeggar about where my posts were coming from. I guess word must have got back to the moderator and so she finally ejected me from the group, though strangely I can still see most everything except the Member Introductions forum. It's kind of like being a ghost.
I'd feel a little bad about my prank if the dude hadn't introduced himself this way: Hey all,
Posting here mainly as the requirement for further posts.
That's code for: I want to post my excerpt, get critiques, and take off to the next group. I've never thought people with that attitude deserve mercy. They aren't there to help the forum; they're only there to help themselves. They're takers, not givers.
Before he left, Choosybeggar had to take a few shots at my books, though of course he'd never read any. Something about asymmetrical stories and something I can't remember but it basically meant simple sentence structure.
So here's where we get to the meat of the post. When I get insults from a Choosybeggar or a Jay Greenstein does it make me feel insecure? Not much. It only bothers me if when I go to my Amazon sales graph it's stuck on 2 or something. Then I start to worry. But if sales are fairly good for that day (I consider good to be at least 10, which is not a high quota and yet some days still impossible to meet) then I don't care. Because Choosybeggar and Jay Greenstein can say what they want, but they don't sell shit, so who gives a fuck what they think? That's probably why Trump is such an asshole; he has more money than 99% of people, so who gives a fuck what they think?
Anyway, the upshot here is that money is a good salve for insecurity. Though I imagine even Stephen King or JK Rowling or James Patterson have moments of insecurity; then they just have to check their bank balance to feel better.
PS: "Choosybeggar" afterwards stalked me on Facebook to gloat about me getting banned. It turns out his real name is Conor Beliveau and he's a bartender, though he tried to tell me he manages the club. And then he taunted me about going to Morocco and Montenegro while I'm "stuck in Michigan." To which my thought is that I never really considered going to Morocco. I guess if I ever did go there I'd just want to see where they filmed Star Wars. As for Montenegro, I can honestly say I never considered going to some former Yugoslav republic either. I'm not sure anyone has ever considered that to be an exotic destination. Anyway, you can see the sort of classy individual he is, so again, not feeling bad about pranking him. Actually I think if there had been a vote the moderator and maybe Greenstein would be the only ones to vote me out. Oh well, that's the problem with dictatorships; they don't really have a sense of humor.