Zoella Reveals How Ghostwriter Backlash Almost Stopped Her Wanting To Write Her Second Book
"It knocked my confidence massively"
Aside from being one of the biggest Vloggers this side of the Atlantic, Zoella - aka Zoe Sugg - also has a sellout makeup and homeware line AND has written two best-selling books.
But when Zoe's debut novel, Girl Online, was published, she faced a whole lot of criticism from people for the fact that she wrote it with the help of a ghostwriter.
The book sold over 80,000 copies in its first week, but Zoe was unable to enjoy the success after the story blew up in the media and she was facing criticism left, right and centre, often from people who were not her fans and never going to read the book in the first place.
What was so surprising about the media storm was that Zoe never hid the fact she'd written with an editorial consultant as it made logical sense bearing in mind she'd never done any professional writing before, and even thanked her in the acknowledgements in the book.
Speaking out about it for the first time as she covers Cosmopolitan this month, Zoe has shared just how painful the whole experience was and how it very nearly stopped her wanting to write the sequel.
"It was horrible. I worked really hard on the book and it was all me – the characters, the story," Zoe tells the mag.
"I felt like I was being attacked and I was like, 'I'm going to shut my laptop, and I can't be bothered with this.' It knocked my confidence massively.
She adds: "When it came round to the second book, I felt I couldn't and that it had all been ruined. It took a lot for me to put that behind me and move forward."
This must have been incredibly hard, especially given how open she has always been about her ongoing battle with anxiety.
"I have had anxiety since before I started doing this," she explains. "I think it changes and adapts with your life. I have a therapist who I speak to every week without fail and that's been the biggest help because I'm now doing things that I never thought I'd be able to do."