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ON MY SOAPBOX AGAIN! – Trigger Warnings ON BOOKS?!?!

ON MY SOAPBOX AGAIN! – Trigger Warnings ON BOOKS?!?!

As many of you may have realized over the past few months, I am done with the cancel culture crap going on everywhere. People who have publicly “cancelled” someone are being cancelled themselves. Sometimes, they’re cancelled for the exact same behavior that they cancelled someone else over. Members of both political parties are even turning on each other. Groups are turning on members of sub-groups in their own groups (and you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about there!). It’s absolutely INSANE!

What’s behind it all? I’ll tell you what:

  • It’s people who are so sensitive about anything and everything that they can’t stand the fact that somebody somewhere might think differently than they do. And, they detest the idea that anybody at all might do or say something that the perpetually offended might find offensive.
  • It’s people who are so full of themselves that they expect the entire world to capitulate to their demands, regardless of how ridiculous those demands are.
  • It’s people who have allowed the “cancel culture” enthusiasts to destroy their sense of humor. What everyone thought was hilarious awhile back is now considered “offensive.” (Check out some old Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock videos on YouTube.) Suck it up, buttercup! Stand-up comedy, which has brought smiles and gut-busting laughter to billions of people for decades, is being cancelled before our very eyes. UPDATE: In case you missed it, this comedian was assaulted for telling a joke.
  • It’s people who are constantly looking for new ways to be victimized. I’m blonde but I have always thought dumb blonde jokes are HILARIOUS! One moronic blogger online, who admits she suffered from “a continuous loop of self-inflicted outrage fatigue” (that says it all, right?), wrote an article titled “Why it’s time to banish blonde jokes.” Again. Total moron.
  • It’s people who are so filled with animosity and downright hatred about those who might think a bit differently that they will do anything and everything to destroy that person personally, and even financially.
  • It’s people who are so buried in jealousy of others that they look for reasons to hate and to punish people for doing nothing wrong at all.
  • And, it’s people who feel so badly about themselves and their lives that they want everybody else to be miserable as well. I bet you know a person or two like that. I sure do!

People just want to be noticed these days. We have the Internet to thank for that. The way to get attention online is to be “part of something.” Something big. Something popular. Something that gets, you guessed it, press coverage. And, with cancel culture, they can sit on their laptop, and spew hatred about anything and everything that others are also spewing hatred over. They are all members of a big club of miserable keyboard warriors who clearly have nothing better to do with their lives.

Then there’s the #MeToo movement. I have personal experience with being sexually assaulted. More than once. The first time was at age 15. I get it. I’ve been injured, physically and emotionally. But, rather than whining about my experiences over the years, and telling other people they couldn’t write or say certain things because they might “trigger” me, I turned my very negative experiences into positives. I taught my daughter and every other young woman who was a family friend how to avoid making the mistakes that I did – mistakes that, yes, I made that resulted in me being assaulted. From situational awareness, to putting myself in a place I should not have been, to simply trusting that someone was a good person when they were not.

What I NEVER did was make up stories about being assaulted. Yes, some people are so hell bent on being part of the cancel culture club (mob!) that they lie to become members. Doing that destroys lives. Women who have lied about being sexually assaulted or harassed did so because they wanted to be part of the #MeToo movement. They wanted it so badly, and were so desperate for attention, that they were willing to destroy the livelihoods and futures of innocent people. Selfish. Pathetic. And, criminal!

Jussie Smollett was just sentenced to jail for lying about being a victim of a hate crime. He was so hell-bent on getting press that he made up a story that followed the narrative of the cancel culture mob at that time. And, he wasn’t the first. Don’t miss this article in the Wall Street Journal: Hate Crime Hoaxes Are More Common Than You Think

All of this is a form of mass hysteria. And, it’s sickening.

So, what does all of this have to do with publishing? I recently read yet another article promoting trigger warnings in books. The blogger’s site is full of affiliate links so it’s likely she jumped on the mass hysteria trigger warning bandwagon as a way to earn some extra cash.

HOW TO REMEMBER, WRITE AND PUBLISH YOUR LIFE STORY by Angela HoyIt is absolutely beyond believable that some in the publishing industry are advocating that we authors, all of us, must start putting trigger warnings in our books. Imagine that!

In my book, HOW TO REMEMBER, WRITE AND PUBLISH YOUR LIFE STORY, I include pages and pages of “Memory Triggers.” Not knowing what was coming in the future, I created the term “Memory Triggers” more than 20 years ago. Crazy, huh? I actually advocated for people being triggered to remember things so they could write their life story (which, as we know, can be very therapeutic). And, yes, some of those will “trigger” unpleasant memories. But, aren’t those life experiences the ones we learn the most from? Aren’t the hard times in life the ones that make us stronger? Yes, they are, except for people who use those experiences to wallow in their own misery, and become professional victims.

This is how the book works:

The writer has a notebook in front of them (or an open laptop) with the tops of pages numbered up to what their current age is. This enables him or her to quickly flip to the correct “age page” to record specific memories that come forth as they read through the memory triggers. So, they start reading the memory triggers – one at a time. They ponder what memory or memories each word or phrase brings forth, turn to the correct Age Page, and write a few short words about the memory so they can remember it later when they start writing their autobiography. When they’re finished, all of those memories are already listed in order by year, making the writing process much easier.

So, if I was forced to provide “trigger warnings” in this particular book, those “warnings” would take up pages and pages and pages. Seriously. The entire danged book would be a trigger warning!

Here are a few Memory Trigger examples:

Pain
Black Eye
Puberty
Weight Gain
Weight Loss
Diet
Binge
Purge
Bra (The book has a short but embarrassing memory example about me being bullied in middle school about my training bra and, guess what? I got over it!)
Underwear
Disease
12-step program
Death (Lots of death subcategories are in the book.)
Enemy
Boogie Man
Bed wetting
Rage
Embarrassment
Self-inflicted injury
Child abuse
Emergency room (I, myself, was diagnosed with PTSD and severe health anxiety after a medical incident 15 years ago but I never ask people to not include medical items in their books, articles, speeches, conversations, etc. because it’s my problem, not theirs.) I repeat. It’s MY problem, not theirs. Professional victims could learn a lot from those five words.

Above, I’ve included just 21 examples out of HUNDREDS of Memory Triggers in the book (which are all organized by main subjects). Can you imagine if some company or government entity forced me to list the trigger warnings in my book? Can you imagine if a company or government entity forced YOU to list trigger warnings in YOUR books?

Think about that. Think about it really hard. You’ll realize, with the way our world is going now, that the trigger warnings could take up several pages in your book as well. Anything, ANYTHING, that might potentially offend someone, somewhere, at some time, would be required to be listed.

Take it a step further. What if people start cancelling authors and publishers after they were triggered by something in a book? Think that’s impossible? Take it further still. What if authors and publishers start getting sued for not publishing trigger warnings, or the right trigger warnings? What if you weren’t allowed to use certain phrases or words in your book at all? Think that won’t happen? Look around you! It’s already happening on social media, in entertainment, and even in the news. Trust me. Books are next!! Many publishers even have “sensitivity readers” now. RIDICULOUS!!! There are already countries where authors’ manuscripts must be pre-approved by the government. And, with the way our country is going, that will be our reality soon enough.

The triggered cancel culture folks are going after anyone and everyone. It’s only a matter of time before you’re next on the chopping block. I’ve already been put on the block (several times) but the vast majority of our readers have the same thoughts on these issues that I do.

I was once involved in a very bad situation in which I was a victim. I will not go into the details here. The aftermath of what happened was only going to get worse (over several months!) before it got better. I was extremely unhappy and severely stressed at the time but there was no turning back. I told myself, “You HAVE to do this. You must put one foot in front of the other and you will be a better, smarter, and stronger person when it’s over.” And, I was, and am.

I am giving the same advice to all of the so-called “snowflakes” and “Karens” out there. Stop looking for excuses to be victimized, offended, hurt, scared, angry, scarred, etc., etc., etc. Buck up! Stop being a wimp, and proudly and courageously experience life with your head held high. You’ll be a FAR happier person for it, and so will everybody who knows you.

There are more than 7 billion people on this Earth. In the grand scheme of things, none of us is very significant. Conceitedness, self-centeredness, and ego are what’s causing the divisions amongst us, and causing people to attack other people, and groups to attack other groups, and even some groups to attack their fellow members.

Do nothing out of rivalry or conceitbut in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3

Don’t expect anyone to change their words (spoken or written) to please or appease you.  If you are in such a bad state that you can’t function when hearing or reading certain words, find a good church (that worked far better than therapy and medication for me!), and start (or renew) your relationship with God. Seriously. I spent two years in therapy, and took medication for even longer. Nothing worked until I started going back to church.

IN CLOSING

BLUE LIVES MATTER: The Heart Behind the Badge by Brian P. WhiddonIf anyone has been so triggered by this article that they are now shaking and hyperventilating with rage, that is exactly who I am referring to in this article. Any and all whiny emails are deleted by our Managing Editor, Brian Whiddon.

Brian served in the U.S. Army in Somalia, and he was a cop. He has seen real suffering, which he describes in his book, Blue Lives Matter: The Heart Behind the Badge. He has zero patience for people whining about being “offended.”

Incidentally, when he and I both posted his book’s cover to our personal Facebook accounts, both of our accounts were “permanently cancelled” by Facebook. Of course, in classic cancel culture fashion, nobody at Facebook bothered to read the book first.

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Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.

About The Author

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Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).

Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises.

WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.

BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."

Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.

PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!

Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.

Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)


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Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE



HOW TO REMEMBER, WRITE AND PUBLISH YOUR LIFE STORY


Angela Hoy's popular online class is now available in book format!


Remember Your Past
Write It and Publish It
in as little as 12 weeks!



Angela Hoy's book will get you started!



  • Using Angela's MEMORY TRIGGERS, recall memories that have been dormant for years
  • Record those memories in chronological order in your memory notebook
  • Using the memory notebook as your outline, write your autobiography!
  • Also works for biographies and memoirs!

Read more here:
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32 Responses to "ON MY SOAPBOX AGAIN! – Trigger Warnings ON BOOKS?!?!"

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  4. Diane Kuhring  March 31, 2022 at 12:23 pm

    Angela,

    Thank you, THANK YOU for your courage and speaking out about what we’re all thinking and feeling! I don’t know what has come over this nation except a total lack of sense… and humanity. I appreciated your quote from Philippians 2:3, as I referenced it as well in the opening preface of my own book. A classic song from the ’70’s, sung by Dionne Warwick says, “What the world needs now, is love, sweet love.” Kindness, generosity, understanding, patience. And yes, LOVE. “Imagine” what John Lennon would say if he was still alive today. I guess I’m just and old hippie at heart, because I still believe in peace and love. But with God, all things ARE possible and without faith in Jesus, I too would still be on medication from having a victim’s mentality. So I stand with you, shouting from my roof that life doesn’t have to be this hard! Only if one makes it so.

    Take care, and I look forward to your next soapbox!
    Diane

    • By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  March 31, 2022 at 2:14 pm

      Amen, Diane!!! 🙂

      Angela

  5. By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  March 28, 2022 at 10:26 pm

    COMMENT SUBMITTED BY EMAIL

    Hello, Angela,
    Thank God for you and your soapbox! I so very much enjoyed, and appreciate, your latest post regarding cancel culture in all its evil manifestations (infestations, I should say). I couldn’t agree with you more, but I’m sure some writer-types who subscribe to Writers Weekly disagree vehemently. The arts in general are rife with people whose moral compasses have gone whacky — but I ask you to keep being brave and bringing the truth to your posts.

    God bless and keep up the good work.

    C.C.

  6. By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  March 28, 2022 at 8:20 pm

    COMMENT SUBMITTED BY EMAIL

    BRAVO!! I, too, am sick of all this cancel culture stuff. It’s RIDICULOUS!!
    I think you should send it to a newspaper that posts editorials…oh wait..they probably won’t publish it.
    Keep it up!
    P.G.

  7. Cheryl Tuskes  March 27, 2022 at 5:20 pm

    I agree 100 % Angela.

    What they don’t understand is that if we start censoring and cancelling everything then we become a Socialist society, not a Democracy.

    I wonder if we could send those people over to Russia? I’m sure Putin would be happy to have them.

    Oops, my bad, I forgot the trigger warning. Sorry. Not sorry!

  8. Carrie  March 27, 2022 at 9:49 am

    So true!!! I have said things like this and been (verbally) attacked online. Especially with “me,too”. When I said NOT ME. I was accused of lying.
    And, suggest that someone “get over it”…after 40-50 or so years have gone by..?!!!
    Looking for a link to this article, to shsre it directly…it needs to be shared.

    • By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  March 27, 2022 at 3:52 pm

      Interesting that they want so many other people to be victimized that they accuse those who haven’t of being liars. Typical…

      Thank you for your comment, Carrie!! 🙂

      Ang

  9. Deborah Poor  March 27, 2022 at 6:33 am

    Hi Angela,

    Your words triggered mine. I despise how serious so many people have become. Today, we seem to have forgotten how to laugh at ourselves and how to have fun with each other. Instead, we are glued to news reports and looking for ways to prove each other wrong. I think we need to keep in mind that the goal of news channels is to stay on the air and they use sensationalism to do this. I frequently ask my clients to spend more time watching humorous programs like “Funny You Should Ask” and less time being overly serious.

    However, I think the #Me Too movement is beneficial. My work as a psychotherapist for more than thirty years has taught me that many victims of sexual abuse are very reluctant to talk about it because they blame themselves. If writing about it anonymously helps them to open up and begin to heal, I’m all for it. One of the best things Freud ever said was “Buried pain does not decompose”.

    In my soon to be released book, “Everything Happens For A Reason: based on true, inspirational stories” is a self help book that uses historically accurate stories to prove that there is only one thing we control and only one thing that can defeat us.

    As for therapy, one size does not fit all. I think a combination of sound spiritual beliefs and working with a therapist or a support group is best. Alcoholics Anonymous is a good example. It has been helping alcoholics to be in recovery for over ninety years and it is the “grand daddy” of other twelve step support groups all of which ask their members to believe in a power greater than themselves.

    Not sure if this is helpful to anyone else, but it made me feel better.

    Warm regards, Deborah

  10. Tina  March 26, 2022 at 2:15 pm

    LOL! Remember George Carlin and Carlos Mencia? They were equal opportunity offenders (truth tellers) and were loved for it (still are).

    • By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  March 26, 2022 at 10:09 pm

      When I was writing my article, I asked Brian, “Help me remember some really good comedians from back in the day.”

      He replied, “George Carlin!”

      😉

      Angela

  11. By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  March 26, 2022 at 1:43 pm

    COMMENT RECEIVED BY EMAIL:

    Hi Ang, just a note to let you know that your article is SO spot-on! Before I read it I thought that there would be hundreds of “trigger” words (the word “trigger” has actually come to trigger me LOL!) that would need to be listed – actually, since triggers are 100% subjective, there could potentially be thousands – and you corroborated the thought. People who are “triggered” are just looking for something to be triggered about. They don’t seem to have a life and are just looking for things to be outraged about. What happened to, if you don’t like the book, set the book aside? If you don’t like something on TV, turn the channel? Ugh. I hope your article gets lots of replies. Thanks again!

    Tina

  12. Cathy Cade  March 26, 2022 at 11:49 am

    Hear, hear! All the way!

  13. By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  March 26, 2022 at 11:38 am

    COMMENT RECEIVED BY EMAIL:

    Kudos for an outstanding article on the Cancel Culture. We’ll soon be publishing books with 200 pages of text and 500 pages of trigger warnings. You continue to represent the finest in publishing ideals and admirable author support.

    Dan A.

  14. Jenean  March 26, 2022 at 8:46 am

    All the”intersectionality” BS began the long narcissistic march to wholesale censorship. The university presses and journals have encouraged this descent into hell in their publishing practices that excludes writing based on merit, and rewards writing that “bled” with victimization and suffering of certain groups over the human condition generally. Oh, for the days of true freedom of speech! The politicization of everything is pure Marxism at its worst. I, for one, want it to die on the vine like the rotten fruit it is. Give me liberty of thought, or give me death. Eight years ago, I wrote an article entitled Who Can I Kill? that describes the agony of creating characters given the plethora of publishing prohibitions … now I just write whatever I want.

    • By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  March 26, 2022 at 10:46 am

      Brilliant, Jenean! Thank you!! Can you send me (or post here) the link to your article? We’d all love to read it!!

      Angela

  15. Krystina Kellingley  March 26, 2022 at 7:55 am

    With you all the way. There are a ton of people who have gone through terrible stuff and who quietly work daily at keeping themselves together while empathising with books, films, real life situations that they understand so well because of their own experiences. Then there are those who make a drama seemingly out of someone cutting a slice of cake.

  16. Sharon Roberts  March 26, 2022 at 6:52 am

    Angela,
    Thanks for sharing your opinions about this important reality. As I recently described the plot of my in-progress novel with a friend, she said, “Aren’t you concerned about cancel culture?” My immediate answer was, “No, I will try to find equality in potential offensiveness so that everyone may have a beef at some point.” As the story is based in fact, and is on point with this current state of agitation, I will move forward knowing that the old axiom is true- You can please some of the people some of the time, some of the people none of the time, and none of the people all of the time. Perhaps if we shun the haters’ hate, but intentionally produce ways for them to “see” how uninformed they seem, some will turn the corner. People need to have a way to change their minds without losing face before real progress will be apparent.
    Again, thanks for your heartfelt thoughts on this challenge.

  17. By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  March 26, 2022 at 12:16 am

    COMMENT RECEIVED BY EMAIL:

    Angela, thank you so much for your screed against “cancel culture”. I couldn’t agree more. This nonsense is out of hand, and oh-so tiresome. Book burnings and bannings are sad, predictable, and pathetic; yet so common among the small-minded crowd, it seems. They either miss the point of good writing and publications, or grasp it very well, and fear the mind expansion that might ensue. Either way, it’s an impulse purveyors of free thought, inquiry, and free speech should remain ever-vigilant against. Thank you for the important service you provide for writers.

    – D.K.

  18. Tom Middlemiss  March 25, 2022 at 11:22 pm

    Angela,
    What a great news letter you have written this week. I loved each and every word.
    Keep up the good work.
    God bless,
    Tom Middlemiss

  19. Chris Norbury  March 25, 2022 at 10:03 pm

    Thank you, Bob De Fillipis! YOu captured this absurdness in a nutshell. Whatever happened to having a sense of humor? Not taking yourself so damn seriously? Letting people have different opinions? It’s all ludicrous because in 100 years we’ll all be dead and the human race may extinct itself before then anyway.

    Make the best of what you’ve got. Make your corner of the world a better place if you can. Try to see someone else’s point of view. Live and let live.

    • By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  March 26, 2022 at 12:06 am

      Amen, Chris!!!! 🙂

  20. Charles Molway  March 25, 2022 at 9:49 pm

    Angela,

    Great article, Angela. It needed to be said.

    Charlie

    • By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  March 26, 2022 at 12:07 am

      Yes, it did, Charles!! 🙂

      Big hugs!!

      Angela

  21. C.R.  March 25, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    I love your article and the responses so far. I just told a family member, “your parents are divorced, get over it. Not an excuse to do the poor me attitude.”
    Thank you Angela. This is great and so accurate on so many issues.
    C.R.

    • By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  March 26, 2022 at 12:08 am

      Absolutely, C.R.!!! Please keep preaching that people need to “get over it” and move on!!! 🙂

      Love ya!!!!

      Angela

  22. By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  March 25, 2022 at 8:07 pm

    COMMENT RECEIVED BY EMAIL:

    Way to go, Angela!
    Your reasons for people cancelling people were so pertinent.
    I, too, am tired of people cutting people off in our faceless society!
    D.S.

  23. Bob De Filippis  March 25, 2022 at 7:43 pm

    I’m terribly offended by your offensive article about trigger warnings. You should have warned me about the lack of trigger warnings in your article about trigger warnings. Apparently, you are impervious to the lack of trigger warnings, but the rest of us are not. Do you realize the trauma we suffer when we are not trigger warned about a lack of trigger warnings? Oh, and the whole idea of being trigger warned without a preparatory trigger warning before the actual trigger warning is appalling. Finally, I’m reminded of what my dear old dad used to say when we spent too much time in the bathroom. “Get out of there and give someone else a chance.” I don’t know what that means but I heard in the Mel Brooks film, Young Dr. Frankenstein. (Marty Feldman said it and I doubt that he ever heard of trigger warnings.) If you get a chance would you explain what I wrote to me? Ps: this makes as much sense as all the craziness in our society today.

    • By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  March 25, 2022 at 7:47 pm

      Oh my gosh, Bob! We are all CRACKING UP HERE!! You made our entire day!!! 😉

      Big hugs!
      Ang

  24. By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  March 25, 2022 at 7:38 pm

    COMMENT SUBMITTED BY EMAIL:

    Angela,

    Thank you! Thank you for saying what needs to be said. Too many sensitive people in need of attention. I’ve worn my husband’s ears on similar rants.

    Loved this newsletter, and now even more so.

    God Bless,
    D.M.